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 the server, also TFTP can be used for devices to boot up from the 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 the UDP/IP protocol and uses the well-known port 69. It can only be used to read/write the data to or from the server, while it cannot be used to list, delete or rename the files.

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

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

Also, read…

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

Once TFTP is running the most commonly used command includes.

Help –used to print the help information

Get – To read the data from the server

Put –To write the data to the server.

TFTP commands


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

In Linux in order to determine

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

Linux server listening to TFTP port.

Following are the differences between FTP and TFTP

  • The original versions of TFTP only allow only up-to 32 MB of data to be transferred, while this limitation has been addressed in the 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 prompt for username and password, you can only protect it through access-restrictions and firewalling.

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