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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Apple has slowly been moving us away from the legacy afp file sharing protocol for some time. High Sierra (macOS 10.13) now comes with a new suite of tools to manage WebDAV shares. Most of these are configurable using wfsctl located at /usr/sbin/wfsctl. When run, the tool reports as “WebDAV File Sharing control utility.”

To start the WebDAV service, use the start verb:

wfsctl start

At this point, the service will attempt to lookup the hostname of the server. If the hostname cannot be found (or once found does not match the expected results) then the service will not start. For more on why this might be happening, use the diagnose verb:

wfsctl diagnose

Once started, you can see what shares are running using the shares verb:

wfsctl shares

You can also share a folder via WebDAV using the share verb:

wfsctl share /Volumes/Pegasus/Accounting

Or unshare a directory:

wfsctl unshare /Volumes/Pegasus/Accounting

The wfsctl command doesn’t seem to interact with the web sharing options built into the web sharing services in macOS Server, although when you run diagnose it will look at services and display what’s running. From what I can tell so far, this should not be run on servers that have either of the macOS Server app web services running.

September 26th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • eagen

    Hi,

    I’m quite confusing by this new way of WebDAV, since it’s not as easy as previous version of Server App. I was able to connect to my own Mini server to obtain the data with WebDAV before. After updated, I try to use wfsctl to check on my WebDAV status, and it’s actually enabled, but somehow I just can’t connect to it. By Browser, it shows not found, and with all other solutions I get the error response…

    Is it because that I enabled my Website service? But, they shouldn’t be conflicted. Also, I tried to edit the apache config, but I seems ruin it. I had to restore the website service back to factory settings… So, I’m very confusing what should I do.

    I also can’t find any more information than yours… So, it would be perfect if there’s more tutorial about the WebDAV for High Sierra.

  • ThomasZ

    Hello,

    First I would like to thank you for this nice article. As far as I can tell that’s the only one related to wfsctl on the internet.
    I don’t know if my problem is similar to the one Eagen is having but I can’t manage to make this new WebDAV sharing work.

    There are no error logs and the wfsctl service log file stays empty so it’s kind of hard to figure out what’s wrong.
    I don’t have any other web services activated so no interferences here.

    If wfsctl is stopped, I can’t connect to the server, I have an instant error message.
    If wfsctl is activated :
    – if I enter a wrong password, it detects it and tell me so with an invalid password kind of error
    – with a correct password it will hang for 30 to 60 seconds and finally fail without any explicit error

    I encounter another error when sharing volumes with accentuated characters, do you know if these shared volumes are stored in a file I could manually edit somewhere ?

    If anyone has any idea how to make this work I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks and regards,
    Thomas

    • Lee

      it simply does not work, iOS/WebDAVS sharing has been killed off. Yet they make an iOS11 app called Files which has a Mac OS Server section. With 10.11 and 10.12 server, works perfectly, 10.13, the BETA software that it is, it does not work at all. Even when you add the Server as an account in iOS, with 10.11/10.12 server you have the options for VPN and File Sharing after adding the account, not its just VPN!

  • Lee

    10.13 “server” is a beta, just like the client version. Buggy. I have video problems, big black boxes displayed on the screen and emails. The login screen, blank, only way to get login screen is to pull HDMI cable and plug back into my 2011 Mac mini. my 27″ iMac has similar video problems and loads of apps now don’t work. Server, if you can call it that now, File sharing removed from app, WebDAVS and iOS options pulled. Yet they make the Files app for iOS 11 which connects perfectly to 10.11 and 10.12 server both locally and via VPN. Me and my clients are using WebDAVS daily to share data with Linux/iOS/Mac OS X/Android and Windows. So now 10.13 is not a viable option. 10.13.1 and Server 5.5 or 6.0 need to be released to put things back to normal!