step 7: install ftp server (vsftp)

check if vsftpd is not already installed

# rpm -q vsftpd

install vsftpd

# yum install vsftpd

ensure it gets started after server reboot

# chkconfig vsftpd --levels 35 on

to get a list of all configuration options

# man vsftpd.conf

make a copy of the original config file

# cp /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf.original

the default location on centos6 is:


configure sftp using the vi editor:

# vi /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf

press the "i" key to go into edit mode

do the changes you want

press the escape key to exit from the edit mode

type :x! to save and exit

or type :q! to quit without saving

# 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 chris 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 with two configuration files.
# Make sure, that one of the listen options is commented !!


as you can see i didn't change much, the only thing you may want to check, is if anonymous_enable is set to NO, to ensure anonymous connections are disallowed


what you probably want is that local users that we will create soon can open ftp connections and also write files, so the next two lines will be set to yes:


last step is to set how users that are allowed to open an ftp connection is up to you, you can whitelist users or blacklist users, if like me you only have few users the whitelist must be the easiest to manage else the blacklist may be better. I have choosen to chroot users and as path have choosen the same filepath as the users whitelist, because i want them all to be chrooted and didn't want to manage two identical lists.

# userlist deny NO = whitelist mode / YES = blacklist users on this list

create a user account for ftp, as i intended to chroot the user to it's home directory and as this ftp user is a member of the vhost1, it's home directory had to be the nginx path to the vhost1 web root directory:

# useradd -d /usr/share/nginx/html/vhost1 -s /usr/sbin/nologin ftpuser1

set a password for the ftp user:

# passwd ftpuser1

when setting up nginx and php-fpm we created a group www-vhost-group with permissions to access the web folder, now we also add that group to our ftp users groups:

# usermod -aG www-vhost-group ftpuser1

now that the user we have set up for php-fpm and the ftp users are in the same group they will be able to edit each others files

As we have defined a whitelist of users "user_list" in the vsftp conf, that are allowed to connect to our ftp server, we now have to edit that file and add the user to the whitelist:

# vi /etc/vsftpd/user_list

Add the user(name) you just created to the list, in my case I have added ftpuser1. Then save the file with :x!

user_list is the whitelist of user allowed to connect and it's also our chroot_list, this means that every user that is on this list will be chrooted to his own home directory. This means he won't be able to access parent directories, which is an important security measure.

edit the /etc/shells file and add "/usr/sbin/nologin":

# vi /etc/shells

start the vsftp service:

# service vsftpd start

Now you can use your favorite ftp client, for example filezilla and try to open a connection to your ftp server. If the connection fails, ensure yourself that you have whitelited the user in the "user_list". If it still does not work try to restart your ftp server or follow the steps of this tutorial again, you probably missed a step.