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How To Set Up ProFTPD on Ubuntu 12.04

Posted Jun 19, 2012 218.6k views

About ProFTP

ProFTPD is a popular ftp server. Because it was written as a powerful and configurable program, it is not necessarily the lightest ftp server available for virtual servers.

Warning: FTP is inherently insecure! Consider configuring ProFTPd to use SFTP, a secure alternative to FTP implemented under SSH.

Step One—Install ProFTP

You can quickly install ProFTP on your VPS in the command line:

sudo apt-get install proftpd

While the file is installing, you will be given the choice to run your VPS as an inetd or standalone server. Choose the standalone option.

Once the file finishes downloading, the ProFTPD server will be on your droplet. However, we still have to make a few changes to the configuration.

Step Two—Configure ProFTP

Once ProFTPD is installed, you can make the needed adjustments in the configuration. Unlike some other FTP configurations, ProFTPD disables anonymous login from the outset and we only need to make a couple of alterations in the config file.

Open up the file:

sudo nano /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

Go ahead and make a few changes:

  • Change the Server Name to your host name
  • ServerName                      "example.com"
  • Uncomment the line that says Default Root. Doing so will limit users to their home directory.
  • # Use this to jail all users in their homes
     DefaultRoot                    ~

Once you have finished those adjustments, you can save and exit.

Restart after you have made all of your changes:

sudo service proftpd restart

Step Three—Access the FTP server

Once you have installed the FTP server and configured it to your liking, you can now access it.

You can reach an FTP server in the browser by typing the domain name into the address bar and logging in with the appropriate ID. Keep in mind, you will only be able to access the user's home directory when connecting to the virtual server.


Alternatively, you can reach the FTP server through the command line by typing:

 ftp example.com

Then you can use the word, "exit," to get out of the FTP shell.

By Etel Sverdlov


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