10.2.5 Notes about the root filetype

The original rootd server can be obtained from: ftp://root.cern.ch/root/rootd.tar.gz but, for it to work correctly with CFITSIO one has to use a modified version which supports a command to return the length of the file. This modified version is available in rootd subdirectory in the CFITSIO ftp area at


This small server is started either by inetd when a client requests a connection to a rootd server or by hand (i.e. from the command line). The rootd server works with the ROOT TNetFile class. It allows remote access to ROOT database files in either read or write mode. By default TNetFile assumes port 432 (which requires rootd to be started as root). To run rootd via inetd add the following line to /etc/services:

  rootd     432/tcp
and to /etc/inetd.conf, add the following line:

  rootd stream tcp nowait root /user/rdm/root/bin/rootd rootd -i
Force inetd to reread its conf file with kill -HUP <pid inetd>. You can also start rootd by hand running directly under your private account (no root system privileges needed). For example to start rootd listening on port 5151 just type: rootd -p 5151 Notice that no & is needed. Rootd will go into background by itself.

  Rootd arguments:
    -i                says we were started by inetd
    -p port#          specifies a different port to listen on
    -d level          level of debug info written to syslog
                      0 = no debug (default)
                      1 = minimum
                      2 = medium
                      3 = maximum
Rootd can also be configured for anonymous usage (like anonymous ftp). To setup rootd to accept anonymous logins do the following (while being logged in as root):

   - Add the following line to /etc/passwd:

     rootd:*:71:72:Anonymous rootd:/var/spool/rootd:/bin/false

     where you may modify the uid, gid (71, 72) and the home directory
     to suite your system.

   - Add the following line to /etc/group:


     where the gid must match the gid in /etc/passwd.

   - Create the directories:

     mkdir /var/spool/rootd
     mkdir /var/spool/rootd/tmp
     chmod 777 /var/spool/rootd/tmp

     Where /var/spool/rootd must match the rootd home directory as
     specified in the rootd /etc/passwd entry.

   - To make writeable directories for anonymous do, for example:

     mkdir /var/spool/rootd/pub
     chown rootd:rootd /var/spool/rootd/pub
That's all. Several additional remarks: you can login to an anonymous server either with the names "anonymous" or "rootd". The password should be of type user@host.do.main. Only the @ is enforced for the time being. In anonymous mode the top of the file tree is set to the rootd home directory, therefore only files below the home directory can be accessed. Anonymous mode only works when the server is started via inetd.