Installing and configuring ftp on Linux server

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Ftp feature is  useful especially when  the linux server is in remote location  and we want to transfer files to server .

Configuring ftp on linux is pretty straight forward  and may be the procedure is almost similar  in all  linux distros (   I should have put the post title as ‘configuring ftp on redhat linux’ for this post  as I am writing about the steps which I followed to install ftp on my redhat server).

1.installed  vsftp ( very secure ftp ) package with  the yum…yum… yummy  command    yum

2. Edited     /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf    file

3.created a  ftp user  and changed  the user home directory


vsftpd installation:

when i typed the command yum install vsftpd i got the error message ‘failed to retrieve repodata/filelists.xml.gz from rhel-x86_64-server-5’

#yum install vsftpd

[Error: failed to retrieve repodata/filelists.xml.gz from rhel-x86_64-server-5
error was [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404: Not Found]
The program package-cleanup is found in the yum-utils package

You could try using –skip-broken to work around the problem
 You could try running: package-cleanup –problems
                        package-cleanup –dupes
                        rpm -Va –nofiles –nodigest


Finally i got vsftpd installed with the commands..

#sudo yum clean all

#sudo rhn-profile-sync    then   

#yum install vsftpd


Added ftp user: 

#useradd demoftp   (create a user with the name demoftp)

#passwd demoftp     (change password for user demoftp)

added the same user name in the file /etc/vsftpd/user_list

# vi /etc/vsftpd/user_list   ( press i to insert and use arrow keys to move the cursor .After typing in the username , press escape and   type   :wq and press enter to save and exit from vim editor)

Modified the vsftpd.conf file  :

#vi /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf



and   changed userlist_enable=YES to userlist_enable=NO

my vsftpd.conf looked like this after editing


# Example config file /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
# The default compiled in settings are fairly paranoid. This sample file
# loosens things up a bit, to make the ftp daemon more usable.
# Please see vsftpd.conf.5 for all compiled in defaults.
# READ THIS: This example file is NOT an exhaustive list of vsftpd options.
# Please read the vsftpd.conf.5 manual page to get a full idea of vsftpd’s
# capabilities.
# Allow anonymous FTP? (Beware – allowed by default if you comment this out).
# Uncomment this to allow local users to log in.
# Uncomment this to enable any form of FTP write command.
# Default umask for local users is 077. You may wish to change this to 022,
# if your users expect that (022 is used by most other ftpd’s)
# Uncomment this to allow the anonymous FTP user to upload files. This only
# has an effect if the above global write enable is activated. Also, you will
# obviously need to create a directory writable by the FTP user.
# Uncomment this if you want the anonymous FTP user to be able to create
# new directories.
# Activate directory messages – messages given to remote users when they
# go into a certain directory.
# The target log file can be vsftpd_log_file or xferlog_file.
# This depends on setting xferlog_std_format parameter
# Make sure PORT transfer connections originate from port 20 (ftp-data).
# If you want, you can arrange for uploaded anonymous files to be owned by
# a different user. Note! Using “root” for uploaded files is not
# recommended!
# The name of log file when xferlog_enable=YES and xferlog_std_format=YES
# WARNING – changing this filename affects /etc/logrotate.d/vsftpd.log
# Switches between logging into vsftpd_log_file and xferlog_file files.
# NO writes to vsftpd_log_file, YES to xferlog_file
# You may change the default value for timing out an idle session.
# You may change the default value for timing out a data connection.
# It is recommended that you define on your system a unique user which the
# ftp server can use as a totally isolated and unprivileged user.
# Enable this and the server will recognise asynchronous ABOR requests. Not
# recommended for security (the code is non-trivial). Not enabling it,
# however, may confuse older FTP clients.
# By default the server will pretend to allow ASCII mode but in fact ignore
# the request. Turn on the below options to have the server actually do ASCII
# mangling on files when in ASCII mode.
# Beware that on some FTP servers, ASCII support allows a denial of service
# attack (DoS) via the command “SIZE /big/file” in ASCII mode. vsftpd
# predicted this attack and has always been safe, reporting the size of the
# raw file.
# ASCII mangling is a horrible feature of the protocol.
# You may fully customise the login banner string:
#ftpd_banner=Welcome to blah FTP service.
# You may specify a file of disallowed anonymous e-mail addresses. Apparently
# useful for combatting certain DoS attacks.
# (default follows)
# You may specify an explicit list of local users to chroot() to their home
# directory. If chroot_local_user is YES, then this list becomes a list of
# users to NOT chroot().
# (default follows)
# You may activate the “-R” option to the builtin ls. This is disabled by
# default to avoid remote users being able to cause excessive I/O on large
# sites. However, some broken FTP clients such as “ncftp” and “mirror” assume
# the presence of the “-R” option, so there is a strong case for enabling it.
# When “listen” directive is enabled, vsftpd runs in standalone mode and
# listens on IPv4 sockets. This directive cannot be used in conjunction
# with the listen_ipv6 directive.
# This directive enables listening on IPv6 sockets. To listen on IPv4 and IPv6
# sockets, you must run two copies of vsftpd whith two configuration files.
# Make sure, that one of the listen options is commented !!


And finally ,Started the service  with the command service vsftpd start .

#service vsftpd start


And  i tried to login to ftp ,but got the error message   “500 OOPS: cannot change directory” .

I forgot to add selinux exception  ( selinux is a enhanced security policy feauture comes with newer version of kernels).

I did run the command ‘  /usr/sbin/setsebool  -P ftp_home_dir=1 ‘  from root and it fixed the problem.

I could have used  setsebool -P allow_ftpd_full_access 1  to allow  full access to ftp thorugh selinux.




Next, I binded a directory for demoftp user  which is out side of that user’s home directory.


# mount –bind//opt/apache2/htdocs/test/  /home/demoftp/    ( /opt/apache2/htdocs/test/ is the directory i want to access when i login  from ftp with  demoftp account).















One thought on “Installing and configuring ftp on Linux server

  1. [Error 14]HTTP404: issue is resolved in my case while installing FTP server thanks.
    Commands which were helpful here are
    #sudo yum clean all

    #sudo rhn-profile-sync then

    #yum install vsftpd

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