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Setup of VSFTPD virtual users

Setup of VSFTPD virtual users

If you are hosting several web sites, for security reason, you may want the webmasters to access their own files only. One of the good way is to give them FTP access by setup of VSFTPD virtual users and directories. This article describes how you can do that easily.
(See also: Setup of VSFTPD virtual users – another approach)

1. Installation of VSFTPD

For Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora, you may install VSFTPD by the command

# yum install vsftpd

For Debian and Ubuntu,

# apt-get install vsftpd

2. Virtual users and authentication

We are going to use pam_userdb to authenticate the virtual users. This needs a username / password file in `db’ format – a common database format. We need `db_load’ program. For CentOS, Fedora, you may install the package `db4-utils’:

# yum install db4-utils

For Ubuntu,

# apt-get install db4.2-util

To create a `db’ format file, first create a plain text file `virtual-users.txt’ with the usernames and passwords on alternating lines:

mary
123456
jack
654321

Then execute the following command to create the actual database:

# db_load -T -t hash -f virtual-users.txt /etc/vsftpd/virtual-users.db

Now, create a PAM file /etc/pam.d/vsftpd-virtual which uses your database:

auth required pam_userdb.so db=/etc/vsftpd/virtual-users
account required pam_userdb.so db=/etc/vsftpd/virtual-users

3. Configuration of VSFTPD

Create a configuration file /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd-virtual.conf,

# disables anonymous FTP
anonymous_enable=NO
# enables non-anonymous FTP
local_enable=YES
# activates virtual users
guest_enable=YES
# virtual users to use local privs, not anon privs
virtual_use_local_privs=YES
# enables uploads and new directories
write_enable=YES
# the PAM file used by authentication of virtual uses
pam_service_name=vsftpd-virtual
# in conjunction with 'local_root',
# specifies a home directory for each virtual user
user_sub_token=$USER
local_root=/var/www/virtual/$USER
# the virtual user is restricted to the virtual FTP area
chroot_local_user=YES
# hides the FTP server user IDs and just display "ftp" in directory listings
hide_ids=YES
# runs vsftpd in standalone mode
listen=YES
# listens on this port for incoming FTP connections
listen_port=60021
# the minimum port to allocate for PASV style data connections
pasv_min_port=62222
# the maximum port to allocate for PASV style data connections
pasv_max_port=63333
# controls whether PORT style data connections use port 20 (ftp-data)
connect_from_port_20=YES
# the umask for file creation
local_umask=022

4. Creation of home directories

Create each user’s home directory in /var/www/virtual, and change the owner of the directory to the user `ftp’:

# mkdir /var/www/virtual/mary
# chown ftp:ftp /var/www/virtual/mary

5. Startup of VSFTPD and test
Now we can start VSFTPD by the command:

# /usr/sbin/vsftpd /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd-virtual.conf

and test the FTP access of a virtual user:

# lftp -u mary -p 60021 192.168.1.101

The virtual user should have full access to his directory.

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