vsftpd is a GPL licensed FTP server for UNIX systems, including Linux. It is secure and extremely fast.
Using this instructions, you can set up vsftpd on variuos linux distros. This tutorial will show you how to set up your own ftp in Ubuntu Linux.
1. Install vsftpd
sudo apt-get install vsftpd
2. Change the configurations file
Open the vsftpd.conf configuration file with a text editor. The file is located in the /etc directory.
sudo joe /etc/vsftpd.conf
Once you are editing the file, you’ll want to make a few changes. Change this:
This will disallow anonymous access to your FTP server. Unless you have a really good reason for permitting anonymous access, and you know what you’re doing in terms of network security, I’d recommend leaving the anonymous access off. Especially if your Ubuntu FTP server is sitting on the Internet.
Of course, with anonymous access off, you’ll need to permit local users to log in. Do this by changing this directive:
(Putting a # in front of a line disables it; this is called “commenting it out”.)
3. Adding a “fake” shell
Edit the /etc/shells file and add a non-existent shell name like /bin/false, for example. This fake shell will limit access on the system for FTP users.
sudo joe /etc/shells
# /etc/shells: valid login shells /bin/sh /bin/bash /bin/false
/bin/false is our added no-existent shell. With Red Hat Linux, a special device name /dev/null exists for purposes such as these.
4. Setup an FTP user account
It’s important to give to your strictly FTP users no real shell account on the Linux system. In this manner, if for any reasons someone could successfully get out of the FTP chrooted environment, it would not have the possibility of executing any user tasks since it doesn’t have a bash shell. First, create new users for this purpose.
This has to be separate from a regular user account with unlimited access because of how the chroot environment works. Chroot makes it appear from the user’s perspective as if the level of the file system you’ve placed them in is the top level of the file system.
Use the following command to create users in the /etc/passwd file. This step must be done for each additional new user you allow to access your FTP server.
sudo mkdir -p /home/ftp/ftpuser sudo useradd ftpuser -d /home/ftp/ftpuser/ -s /bin/false sudo passwd ftpuser
- The mkdir command will create the ftp/ftpuser directory under the /home directory to handle all FTP users’ home directories we’ll have on the server.
- The useradd command will add the new user named ftpuser to our Linux server.
- Finally, the passwd command will set the password for this user ftpuser.
Once you’ve made these changes, restart the vsftpd service with this command:
sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart
5. Override config option specified in the manual page, on a per-user basis (optional)
If you want to make custom changes in the behaviour of the ftp server on a per-user basis, you should know that vsftpd has a powerful option that allows you to do this.
If you set user_config_dir to be /etc/vsftpd_user_conf and then log on as the user “chris”, then vsftpd will apply the settings in the file /etc/vsftpd_user_conf/chris for the duration of the session. The format of this file is detailed in the manual!
Please note that not all settings are effective on a per-user basis. For example, many settings only prior to the user’s session being started. Examples of settings which will not affect any behviour on a per-user basis include listen_address, banner_file, max_per_ip, max_clients, xferlog_file, etc.