What is Trivial File transfer Protocol

What is Trivial File transfer Protocol

TFTP (Trivial File transfer Protocol) is a file transfer protocol like FTP that is used to transfer the files.

It uses the UDP (user datagram protocol) In order to transfer the files from one end to another end. This protocol is mostly used in order to read/write data to server, also TFTP can be used for devices to boot up from local network. It was standardized in 1981 and its specifications are defined in RFC1350.

Due to its simplicity in design TFTP can be easily implemented to transfer the firmware images and configurations files to different network devices like router, firewalls and IP-Phones.

The TFTP works on the top of UDP/IP protocol and uses the well-known port 69. It can only be used to read/write the data to or from server, while it cannot be used to list, delete or rename the files.

The TFTP follows the client-server architecture in which client initiates the requests to read or write a particular file to server, then server acknowledge the request, once acknowledgement has been made by the server, the host can send the data toward server. It is that it can be used in both window and Linux environment.

TFTP clients are included in current versions of Window, Linux’s and Mac-OS, there are some TFTP clients available in GUI’s like TFTPD3,File Zilla and many more.

Also, read…

Remember TFTP is simplified version of FTP that provides no authentication and did not use any encryption so networking experts warns to be careful while configuration the TFTP in order to avoid potential securities issues, but it utilize the less resources.

Once TFTP is running the most commonly used command includes.

Help –used to print the help information

Get – To read the data from server

Put –To write the data to server.

TFTP commands


As the TFTP does not provides any authentication or security, so it is highly recommended to implement some sort of access-restriction or firewalling.

In Linux in order to determ

ine either the serve is listening on TFTP request or not you may issue the following command.

Linux server listening on TFTP port.

Following are the differences between FTP and TFTP

  • The original versions of TFTP only allows only up-to 32 MB of data to be transferred, while this limitation has been addressed in newer version. Meanwhile FTP does not have such restrictions.
  • FTP works on port 20 and 21 while TFTP uses the UDP port 69
  • Unlike FTP it does not prompts for username and password, you can only protect it through access-restrictions and firewalling.

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