Definition of TFTP in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is TFTP?

TFTP is an abbreviation for Trivial File Transfer Protocol, a TCP/IP file transfer protocol. TFTP differs from the popular File Transfer Protocol (FTP) in that it does not support any form of authentication. TFTP is defined in Request for Comments (RFC) 1350.

How It Works

TFTP copies files to and from remote hosts by using the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). The remote host must be running the TFTP service or daemon for the TFTP client to be able to communicate with it. In UNIX networks that use diskless workstations and the bootstrap protocol (BOOTP), TFTP is usually used to download the boot disk image from the BOOTP server to the workstation.


Microsoft’s implementation of TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows NT does not include TFTP service but does include a command-prompt TFTP client. On the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform, in addition to the command-prompt TFTP client there is an optional TFTP service called the Trivial File Transfer Protocol Daemon (TFTPD), which is installed when the Remote Installation Services component of Windows 2000 Server is enabled.