Create a FTP server with user access (proftpd)


I created this How to for people who want to share files with friends using FTP protocol, like FTPservU under windows. The way i give you is not the only one, I hope my How to is enough clear.
This FTP server will allow only users with the good password (persons to whom you gave the password and username). So you will be sure that only known persons will access your FTP server.
A- The GUI way (for beginners only)
For those who are new to linux and don’t want to use a FTP server without GUI, or just for those who don’t use often their FTP server and wish to set it quickly without a high level of security, there is a GTK GUI for proftpd.
Be careful, it’s less secure than configuring yourself your server.
1- Install gproftpd, you can find it here, or download the .deb i made at the bottom of the post (remove the .zip extension).
To install the .deb i made, open a terminal and use this command in the directory where you downloaded the .deb :

sudo dpkg -i gproftpd-8.2.2_8.2.2-1_i386.deb

2- Run gproftpd as root, it’s needed and it’s why i don’t advice gproftpd for advanced users :

sudo gproftpd

3- Play with the GUI and set up quickly your server.

Feel free to post here if you have some problems with gproftpd but it shouldn’t be too hard to use (it took me 2 minutes to set up a small FTP server  ).
B- The secure way
1- Install proftpd with synaptic or with this command :

sudo apt-get install proftpd2
– Add this line in /etc/shells file (sudo gedit /etc/shells to open the file) :

Create a /home/FTP-shared directory :

cd /home
sudo mkdir FTP-shared
Create a user named userftp which will be used only for ftp access. This user don’t need a valid shell (more secure) therefore select /bin/false shell for userftp and /home/FTP-shared as home directory (property button in user and group window).
To make this section clearer, i give you the equivalent command line to create the user :

sudo useradd userftp -p your_password -d /home/FTP-shared -s /bin/false
In FTP-shared directory create a download and an upload directory :

cd /home/FTP-shared/
sudo mkdir download
sudo mkdir upload
Now we have to set the good permissions for these directories :

cd /home
sudo chmod 755 FTP-shared
cd FTP-shared
sudo chmod 755 download
sudo chmod 777 upload
3- OK, now go to the proftpd configuration file :

sudo gedit /etc/proftpd.conf
and edit your proftpd.conf file like that if it fit to your need :

# To really apply changes reload proftpd after modifications.
AllowOverwrite on
AuthAliasOnly on
# Choose here the user alias you want !!!!
UserAlias sauron userftp
ServerName   "ChezFrodon"
ServerType    standalone
DeferWelcome   on
MultilineRFC2228 on
DefaultServer   on
ShowSymlinks   off
TimeoutNoTransfer 600
TimeoutStalled 100
TimeoutIdle 2200
DisplayFirstChdir               .message
ListOptions                 "-l"
RequireValidShell   off
TimeoutLogin 20
RootLogin    off
# It’s better for debug to create log files 😉
ExtendedLog    /var/log/ftp.log
TransferLog    /var/log/xferlog
SystemLog   /var/log/syslog.log
#DenyFilter   *.*/
# I don’t choose to use /etc/ftpusers file (set inside the users you want to ban, not useful for me)
UseFtpUsers off
# Allow to restart a download
AllowStoreRestart  on
# Port 21 is the standard FTP port, so don’t use it for security reasons (choose here the port you want)
Port    1980
# To prevent DoS attacks, set the maximum number of child processes
# to 30.  If you need to allow more than 30 concurrent connections
# at once, simply increase this value.  Note that this ONLY works
# in standalone mode, in inetd mode you should use an inetd server
# that allows you to limit maximum number of processes per service
# (such as xinetd)
MaxInstances 8
# Set the user and group that the server normally runs at.
User                  nobody
Group                 nogroup
# Umask 022 is a good standard umask to prevent new files and dirs
# (second parm) from being group and world writable.
Umask    022 022
PersistentPasswd  off
MaxClients 8
MaxClientsPerHost 8
MaxClientsPerUser 8
MaxHostsPerUser 8
# Display a message after a successful login
AccessGrantMsg "welcome !!!"
# This message is displayed for each access good or not
ServerIdent                  on       "you’re at home"
# Set /home/FTP-shared directory as home directory
DefaultRoot /home/FTP-shared
# Lock all the users in home directory, ***** really important *****
DefaultRoot ~
MaxLoginAttempts    5
<Limit LOGIN>
AllowUser userftp
<Directory /home/FTP-shared>
Umask 022 022
AllowOverwrite off
<Directory /home/FTP-shared/download/*>
Umask 022 022
AllowOverwrite off
<Directory> /home/FTP-shared/upload/>
Umask 022 022
AllowOverwrite on
     <Limit STOR CWD MKD>
Ok you have done proftpd configuration. Your server is on port 1980 (in this exemple) and the access parameters are
user : sauron
password : the one you’ve set for userftp
4- To start/stop/restart your server :

sudo /etc/init.d/proftpd start
sudo /etc/init.d/proftpd stop
sudo /etc/init.d/proftpd restart
To perform a syntax check of your proftpd.conf file :

sudo proftpd -td5
To know who is connected on your server in realtime use "ftptop" command (use "t" caracter to swich to rate display), you can also use the "ftpwho" command.
other informations here
ProftpTools 1.0.1
ProftpTools is a script I wrote thanks to swoop’s feedback. This script allow you to start/stop proftpd, mount/unmount auto/manually directories, show your IP, … and all of that with a GUI in order to use proftpd in a really easy way !
To install ProftpTools, download ProftpTools-v1.0.1.tar.gz (at the bottom of the page) and untar it where you want and then move the ProftpTools file in /usr/bin :

tar -xzvf ProftpTools-v1.0.1.tar.gz
cd ProftpTools-v1.0.1/
sudo mv ProftpTools /usr/bin/
Then add these lines in your .bashrc (it’s in your home directory : gedit /home/username/.bashrc) file in order to specify what is the ProftpTools directory path, YOU MUST REMOVE THE "/" CHARACTER at the end of the path. I give you an exemple if your ProftpTools directory is in your home directory :

export ProftpTools_dir
Now all you have to do is to type ProftpTools in a terminal and …. enjoy 
You need zenity installed to use this script.
Don’t hesitate to post in this thread or send me PM to report bugs, ask new features, correct my english, suggest improvement  and thank you to give me feedback about this tool.
useful trick :
This trick is integrated in ProftpTools.
If you don’t want (like me  ) to use space in your /home directory, and use space on another hard drive, or if you just want to share a directory from another partition … you can mount the directory you want in your download or upload directory without changing anything in proftpd.conf file, use these commands :
sudo mount -o bind the_directory_you_want_to_share /home/FTP-shared/download

sudo mount -o bind the_directory_you_want_to_use_for_upload /home/FTP-shared/upload
This command will not overwrite the directory, the idea is just to mount a directory in another one without overwritng anything, so when someone will log in your server he will see and use the mounted directory if you have mounted one. To unmout a directory (download directory for exemple):
sudo umount /home/FTP-shared/downloadPermanent mount :
If you don’t want to re-mount your directories after a reboot you can add a line in fstab file like that (sudo gedit /etc/fstab to open the file) :

the_directory_to_mount /home/FTP-shared/download vfat bind 0 0thanks reet 
If you want to create other directories in FTP-shared, think to add it in proftpd.conf file.
Don’t hesitate to test yourself your server using gFTP for exemple, it’s really helpful to debug your server.
Other stuff
If you have a router you should read that, it describe the 2 commands to add in proftpd.conf and why.
If you have a dynamic DNS have a look here, you can also use ddclient(maybe easier for newbies).
Most of informations you’re looking for are here
To get more debug informations :…ked/x1058.html
You can specify a specific passive port range using PassivePorts command, it’s very useful when you use a firewall in order to know which ports to allow.
Thanks for feedback, and sorry if my english is sometimes really bad 
Don’t hesitate to post questions about proftpd in this thread.

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