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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

The vsftpd.conf File

VSFTPD reads the contents of its vsftpd.conf configuration file only when it starts, so you’ll have to restart VSFTPD each time you edit the file in order for the changes to take effect.

This file uses a number of default settings you need to know about:

  • VSFTPD runs as an anonymous FTP server: Unless you want any remote user to log into to your default FTP directory using a username of anonymous and a password that’s the same as their e-mail address, I suggest turning this off. You can set the configuration file’s anonymous_enable directive to no to disable this feature. You’ll also need to simultaneously enable local users to be able to log in by removing the comment symbol (#) before the local_enable instruction.

  • VSFTPD allows only anonymous FTP downloads to remote users, not uploads from them: You can change this by modifying the anon_upload_enable directive shown later.

  • VSFTPD doesn’t allow anonymous users to create directories on your FTP server: You can change this by modifying the anon_mkdir_write_enable directive.

  • VSFTPD logs FTP access to the /var/log/vsftpd.log log file: You can change this by modifying the xferlog_file directive.

  • VSFTPD expects files for anonymous FTP to be placed in the /var/ftp directory: You can change this by modifying the anon_root directive. There is always the risk with anonymous FTP that users will discover a way to write files to your anonymous FTP directory. You run the risk of filling up your /var partition if you use the default setting. It is best to make the anonymous FTP directory reside in its own dedicated partition.

The configuration file is fairly straightforward as you can see in the snippet:

# Allow anonymous FTP?
anonymous_enable=YES

# Uncomment this to allow local users to log in. local_enable=YES

# Uncomment this to enable any form of FTP write command.
# (Needed even if you want local users to be able to upload files) write_enable=YES 
# Uncomment to allow the anonymous FTP user to upload files. This only # has an effect if global write enable is activated. Also, you will # obviously need to create a directory writable by the FTP user. #anon_upload_enable=YES 
# Uncomment this if you want the anonymous FTP user to be able to create # new directories. #anon_mkdir_write_enable=YES 
# Activate logging of uploads/downloads. xferlog_enable=YES

# You may override where the log file goes if you like.
# The default is shown# below. #xferlog_file=/var/log/vsftpd.log

# The directory which vsftpd will try to change
# into after an anonymous login. (Default = /var/ftp) #anon_root=/data/directory

To activate or deactivate a feature, remove or add the # at the beginning of the appropriate line.

Other vsftpd.conf Options

There are many other options you can add to this file:

  • Limiting the maximum number of client connections (max_clients)

  • Limiting the number of connections by source IP address (max_per_ip)

  • Setting the maximum rate of data transfer per anonymous login (anon_max_rate)

  • Setting the maximum rate of data transfer per non-anonymous login (local_max_rate)

Descriptions on this and more can be found in the vsftpd.conf man pages.

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