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Setting up a ftp server with vsftpd

FTP ftp server vsftpd vsftpd server

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#1 brent

brent

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:08 AM

vsftpd is a secure ftp daemon

 

 

vsftpd - FTP Server Installation
vsftpd is an FTP daemon available in Ubuntu. It is easy to install, set up, and maintain. To install vsftpd you can run the following command:

sudo apt-get install vsftpd

 

We need to set the passive ports

I then insert two lines into /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf as the following:

pasv_min_port=5000
pasv_max_port=5025

 

If you are using a fire wall make sure that you allow these ports through, I use UFW

sudo ufw allow 5000:5025/tcp

 

Anonymous FTP Configuration

By default vsftpd is configured to only allow anonymous download. During installation a ftp user is created with a home directory of /home/ftp. This is the default FTP directory. 

If you wish to change this location, to /srv/ftp for example, simply create a directory in another location and change the ftp user's home directory:

sudo mkdir /srv/ftp
sudo usermod -d /srv/ftp ftp

 

After making the change restart vsftpd:

sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

 

Finally, copy any files and directories you would like to make available through anonymous FTP to /srv/ftp. 


User Authenticated FTP Configuration


To configure vsftpd to authenticate system users and allow them to upload files edit /etc/vsftpd.conf:

local_enable=YES
write_enable=YES

 

Now restart vsftpd:

sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

 

Now when system users login to FTP they will start in their home directories where they can download, upload, create directories, etc. 


Similarly, by default, the anonymous users are not allowed to upload files to FTP server. To change this setting, you should uncomment the following line, and restart vsftpd:

anon_upload_enable=YES

 

 Enabling anonymous FTP upload can be an extreme security risk. It is best to not enable anonymous upload on servers accessed directly from the Internet. 



The configuration file consists of many configuration parameters. The information about each parameter is available in the configuration file. Alternatively, you can refer to the man page, man 5 vsftpd.conf for details of each parameter. 

Securing FTP
There are options in /etc/vsftpd.conf to help make vsftpd more secure. For example users can be limited to their home directories by uncommenting:

chroot_local_user=YES

 

You can also limit a specific list of users to just their home directories:

chroot_list_enable=YES
chroot_list_file=/etc/vsftpd.chroot_list

 

After uncommenting the above options, create a /etc/vsftpd.chroot_list containing a list of users one per line. Then restart vsftpd:

sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

 

Also, the /etc/ftpusers file is a list of users that are disallowed FTP access. The default list includes root, daemon, nobody, etc. To disable FTP access for additional users simply add them to the list. 


FTP can also be encrypted using FTPS. Different from SFTP, FTPS is FTP over Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SFTP is a FTP like session over an encrypted SSH connection. A major difference is that users of SFTP need to have a shell account on the system, instead of a nologin shell. Providing all users with a shell may not be ideal for some environments, such as a shared web host. 

To configure FTPS, edit /etc/vsftpd.conf and at the bottom add:

ssl_enable=Yes

 

Also, notice the certificate and key related options:

rsa_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
rsa_private_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key

 

By default these options are set the certificate and key provided by the ssl-cert package. In a production environment these should be replaced with a certificate and key generated for the specific host. For more information on certificates see the section called “Certificates”. 


Now restart vsftpd, and non-anonymous users will be forced to use FTPS:

sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

 

To allow users with a shell of /usr/sbin/nologin access to FTP, but have no shell access, edit /etc/shells adding the nologin shell:

# /etc/shells: valid login shells
/bin/csh
/bin/sh
/usr/bin/es
/usr/bin/ksh
/bin/ksh
/usr/bin/rc
/usr/bin/tcsh
/bin/tcsh
/usr/bin/esh
/bin/dash
/bin/bash
/bin/rbash
/usr/bin/screen
/usr/sbin/nologin

 

This is necessary because, by default vsftpd uses PAM for authentication, and the /etc/pam.d/vsftpd configuration file contains:

auth    required        pam_shells.so

 

The shells PAM module restricts access to shells listed in the /etc/shells file. 


Most popular FTP clients can be configured connect using FTPS. The lftp command line FTP client has the ability to use FTPS as well.






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