Set up FTP Server on Linux with Vsftpd

Vsftpd is secure, lightweight and very stable FTP server with advanced of feature. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License. It supports IPV6 and SSL. FTP server allows you to transfer files between Raspberry Pi with your devices on the local network or even across the Internet

Install Vsftpd

In order for Raspberry Pi to act as FTP server, you need to install packages on the Raspberry Pi. You're going to need the following packages
  • Vsftpd lightweight, efficient FTP server written for security
To install the Vsftpd packages run following command:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install vsftpd
If there is no error in the installation you can continue to the next step

Configure Vsftpd

To configure the vsftpd edit the vstpd.conf configuration file, you can use an editor such as nano. To open the file, run following command:
sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Vsftpd Configuration

Vsftpd configuration version 2.3.5-1[su_spoiler title="Default Vsftpd Configuration" icon="caret"]
# 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.
#
#
# Run standalone?  vsftpd can run either from an inetd or as a standalone
# daemon started from an initscript.
listen=YES
#
# Run standalone with IPv6?
# Like the listen parameter, except vsftpd will listen on an IPv6 socket
# instead of an IPv4 one. This parameter and the listen parameter are mutually
# exclusive.
#listen_ipv6=YES
#
# Allow anonymous FTP? (Beware - allowed by default if you comment this out).
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.
#write_enable=YES
#
# 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)
#local_umask=022
#
# 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.
#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 directory messages - messages given to remote users when they
# go into a certain directory.
dirmessage_enable=YES
#
# 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.
use_localtime=YES
#
# Activate logging of uploads/downloads.
xferlog_enable=YES
#
# Make sure PORT transfer connections originate from port 20 (ftp-data).
connect_from_port_20=YES
#
# 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!
#chown_uploads=YES
#chown_username=whoever
#
# You may override where the log file goes if you like. The default is shown
# below.
#xferlog_file=/var/log/vsftpd.log
#
# 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.
#xferlog_std_format=YES
#
# You may change the default value for timing out an idle session.
#idle_session_timeout=600
#
# You may change the default value for timing out a data connection.
#data_connection_timeout=120
#
# 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.
#nopriv_user=ftpsecure
#
# 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.
#async_abor_enable=YES
#
# 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.
#ascii_upload_enable=YES
#ascii_download_enable=YES
#
# 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.
#deny_email_enable=YES
# (default follows)
#banned_email_file=/etc/vsftpd.banned_emails
#
# 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.
#chroot_local_user=YES
#
# 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)
#chroot_local_user=YES
#chroot_list_enable=YES
# (default follows)
#chroot_list_file=/etc/vsftpd.chroot_list
#
# 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.
#ls_recurse_enable=YES
#
# 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.
secure_chroot_dir=/var/run/vsftpd/empty
#
# This string is the name of the PAM service vsftpd will use.
pam_service_name=vsftpd
#
# This option specifies the location of the RSA certificate to use for SSL
# encrypted connections.
rsa_cert_file=/etc/ssl/private/vsftpd.pem
Summarized configuration, some configuration is not shown Run Vsftpd as standalone mode
Listen=ON
Listen on IPv6 instead of IPv4
listen_ipv6=YES
Disable the anonymous ftp login
anonymous_enable=off
Enable local users to login
local_enable=on
Enable FTP users to write changes to files
write_enable=on
Customize FTP login banner's message
ftpd_banner=Welcome to awesome FTP service.
To change default home directory
local_root=/home/pi
After you finished make sure you're save the files

Restart Vsftpd

To complete the steps you need to restart the Vsftpd's service
sudo service vsftpd restart
Testing
 To test if Vsftpd working properly on the client

  - In Windows
  1. Download FTP Client (e.g. FileZilla, FireFTP, or WinSCP)
  2. At server, name, and password section fill with FTP Server's credentials
  3. Click connect
 - In Linux
  1. Download FTP Client (e.g. FileZilla, FireFTP, or Konqueror)
  2. At server, name, and password section fill with FTP Server's credentials
  3. Click connect
- In Android
  1. Download FTP Client (e.g. AndFTP, FTPCafe, or Turbo FTP)
  2. Tap add (+) then fill the hostname, username, and password with FTP Server's credentials
  3. Tap save and connect

Troubleshooting

- If the client can't connect to your FTP Server
  • Make sure the Raspberry Pi host is reachable from the client
  • Read the log from Vsftpd for troubleshooting's purpose
  • Re-try to restart the vsftpd service and login with local user's credentials

References

  1. vsftpd - Secure, fast FTP server
  2. vsftpd package - Debian's Wiki
  3. Image - Source: Pearltrees

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