Setup VSFTPD on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10

This brief tutorial shows students and new user how to install and configure VSFTPD on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10. This post should help you setup VSFTPD server to allow transfer of files between the client and server.

Using FTP servers to transfer upload and download files from a server might be a quicker and easier way for new users and students. And when it comes to FTP on Ubuntu, VSFTPD is probably the most popular FTP server available.

To install and configure VSFTPD on Ubuntu, continue with the steps below:

Step 1: Install VSFTPD

The commands below install VSFTPD on Ubuntu servers.

sudo apt-get install vsftpd

After installing VSFTPD, its configuration file will be stored at the location below.


Majority of your changes will take place at the location above.

Step 2: Configure VSFTPD

Now the server is installed, the settings below should be configured on your server to allow users to connect and transfer files as well as provide some security to your server.

Run the commands below to open VSFTPD configuration file and make the highlighted changes below it.

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Then make the changes below:

# Example config file /etc/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.
# Run standalone?  vsftpd can run either from an inetd or as a standalone
# daemon started from an initscript.
# This directive enables listening on IPv6 sockets. By default, listening
# on the IPv6 "any" address (::) will accept connections from both IPv6
# and IPv4 clients. It is not necessary to listen on *both* IPv4 and IPv6
# sockets. If you want that (perhaps because you want to listen on specific
# addresses) then you must run two copies of vsftpd with two configuration
# files.
# Allow anonymous FTP? (Disabled by default).
# 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.
# If enabled, vsftpd will display directory listings with the time
# in  your  local  time  zone.  The default is to display GMT. The
# times returned by the MDTM FTP command are also affected by this
# option.
# Activate logging of uploads/downloads.
# 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!
# You may override where the log file goes if you like. The default is shown
# below.
# If you want, you can have your log file in standard ftpd xferlog format.
# Note that the default log file location is /var/log/xferlog in this case.
# 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 restrict local users to their home directories.  See the FAQ for
# the possible risks in this before using chroot_local_user or
# chroot_list_enable below.
# 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().
# (Warning! chroot'ing can be very dangerous. If using chroot, make sure that
# the user does not have write access to the top level directory within the
# 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.
# Customization
# Some of vsftpd's settings don't fit the filesystem layout by
# default.
# This option should be the name of a directory which is empty.  Also, the
# directory should not be writable by the ftp user. This directory is used
# as a secure chroot() jail at times vsftpd does not require filesystem
# access.
# This string is the name of the PAM service vsftpd will use.
# This option specifies the location of the RSA certificate to use for SSL
# encrypted connections.

# Uncomment this to indicate that vsftpd use a utf8 filesystem.

Save your changes.

After saving your changes, run the commands below to create a chroot_list_file. This file will contain users who can browse their home directories. Anyone who isn’t in the file won’t be able to logon to their home directory but a location specified for local_root = /home/$USER/Public_html.

Each user should have Public_html in their home directory with full access. Users who are not in the chroot_list file, will be able to FTP in but restricted to the Public_html in their home directory as defined in the configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.chroot_list

Then add your username or any other user who needs access to their home directory in the file, one name per line and save.

Finally, run the commands below to restart VSFTPD.

sudo systemctl restart vsftpd

You’re done!~

Open your favorite FTP client ( FileZilla ) and connect to the server via its hostname or IP address and you should be granted access.

vsftpd ubuntu connection



  1. juan bautista leoni

    buenas noches te felicito por tu colaboracion sigue adelante gracias barquisimeto venezuela


  3. Well done! I have verified that this works for 18.04 as well.

  4. What about the password for the users you create?

  5. How to allow multiple users to access to the same directory?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.