How To Set Up vsftpd on Ubuntu 12.04
This article covers a version of Ubuntu that is no longer supported. If you are currently operate a server running Ubuntu 12.04, we highly recommend upgrading or migrating to a supported version of Ubuntu:
- Upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04.
- Upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to Ubuntu 16.04
- Migrate the server data to a supported version
Reason: Ubuntu 12.04 reached end of life (EOL) on April 28, 2017 and no longer receives security patches or updates. This guide is no longer maintained.
This guide might still be useful as a reference, but may not work on other Ubuntu releases. If available, we strongly recommend using a guide written for the version of Ubuntu you are using. You can use the search functionality at the top of the page to find a more recent version.
The first two letters of vsftpd stand for "very secure" and the program was built to have strongest protection against possible FTP vulnerabilities.
Step One—Install vsftpd
You can quickly install vsftpd on your virtual private server in the command line:
sudo apt-get install vsftpd
Once the file finishes downloading, the VSFTP will be on your droplet. Generally speaking, it is already configured with a reasonable amount of security. However, it does provide access on your VPS to anonymous users.
Step Two—Configure vsftpd
Once vsftpd is installed, you can adjust the configuration.
Open up the configuration file:
sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf
The biggest change you need to make is to switch the Anonymous_enable from YES to NO:
Prior to this change, vsftpd allowed anonymous, unidentified users to access the server's files. This is useful if you are seeking to distribute information widely, but may be considered a serious security issue in most other cases.
After that, uncomment the local_enable option, changing it to yes and, additionally, allow the user to write to the directory.
Finish up by uncommenting command to chroot_local_user. When this line is set to Yes, all the local users will be jailed within their chroot and will be denied access to any other part of the server.
Save and Exit that file.
Because of a recent vsftpd upgrade, vsftpd is "refusing to run with writable root inside chroot". A handy way to address this issue to is to take the following steps:
- Create a new directory within the user's home directory
- Change the ownership of that file to root
- Make all necessary changes within the "files" subdirectory
chown root:root /home/username
Then, as always, restart:
sudo service vsftpd 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.
Alternatively, you can reach the FTP server on your virtual server through the command line by typing:
Then you can use the word, "exit," to get out of the FTP shell.