FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is likely the most well-known method of uploading files to a server; a wide array of FTP servers, such as vsftpd, and clients exist for every platform.
- These instructions are intended specifically for installing the vsfptd on Ubuntu 15.04.
- I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Core Managed Ubuntu 15.04 server, and I’ll be logged in as root.
Step 1: Install vsftpd
Warning: FTP data is insecure; traffic is not encrypted, and all transmissions are clear text (including usernames, passwords, commands, and data). Consider securing your FTP connection with SSL/TLS.
First, you’ll follow a simple best practice: ensuring the list of available packages is up to date before installing anything new.
Then let’s install vsftpd and any required packages:
apt-get -y install vsftpd
Step 2: Configure vsftpd
For a refresher on editing files with vim see: New User Tutorial: Overview of the Vim Text Editor
Let’s edit the configuration file for vsftpd:
Disallow anonymous, unidentified users to access files via FTP; change the anonymous_enable setting to NO:
Allow local uses to login by changing the local_enable setting to YES:
If you want local user to be able to write to a directory, then change the write_enable setting to YES:
Local users will be ‘chroot jailed’ and they will be denied access to any other part of the server; change the chroot_local_user setting to YES:
Exit and save the file with the command :wq.
Restart the vsftpd service:
service vsftpd restart
Step 3: Configure the User’s Home Directory
With certain version of vsftpd you may receive the following error: 500 OOPS: vsftpd: refusing to run with writable root inside chroot().
Not to worry! Create a new directory for the user receiving the error (user2 in this case) that is a subdirectory of their home directory (/home/user2). For example:
Fix permissions for user2‘s home directory:
chmod a-w /home/user2/
Make a new directory for uploading files:
chown user2:user2 /home/user2/files/