Install And Configure vsftpd FTP Server In Linux Mint 18.2

The most common FTP server software for Linux Mint is the vsftpd package, which stands for “very secure FTP daemon.” It’s the default FTP package for Linux Mint, and most other Linux distributions as well. As an added bonus, vsftpd is pretty secure out of the box – to make it insecure, you have to go out of your way to mess up the configuration file.

As an added bonus, vsftpd is simple to install and configure on a Linux Mint machine. To install the vsftpd package, make your way to a command prompt and type this command:

sudo apt-get install vsftpd

Enter your password to authenticate and apt will download and install vsftpd for you.

Follow the default prompts, and the vsftpd server will be installed on your computer. Generally, the default configuration for vsftpd is pretty secure, and good enough for casual use. Anonymous users are blocked, and no one can write files to the server (or, in FTP terminology, no one can upload files to the server). Anyone with a system account will be able to connect to the FTP server and download, though not upload, files.

If you want to change any settings, the configuration file for vsftpd is /etc/vsftpd.conf. Like any other configuration file, you can edit it with vi:

sudo vi /etc/vsftpd.conf

Like Samba, the vsftpd.conf file contains a large number of “directives” that govern how the server behaves and operates. If you want to change its configuration, you’ll need to alter the directives.

If you want users to be able to write files to your FTP server, change this directive:

#write_enable=YES

To this:

write_enable=YES

With the write_enable directive set to YES, users will be able to upload files to your FTP server. Note, however, that they will only be able to do so if they have proper permissions to the directories in question. They’ll be able to upload files to their home directories, but not, for instance /var or /usr.

Anonymous access is controlled with this directive:

anonymous_enable=NO

Under no circumstances should you allow anonymous access to your FTP server, especially if it is accessible from the Internet! There are certain circumstances when you might find it useful, but you should only enable it if you know exactly what you are doing. Generally, it is almost always best to keep anonymous_enable set to NO.

If you make any changes to the file, switch vi to command mode, save the changes, and then exit vi. Then restart the vsftpd server so it reads its new directives:

sudo service vsftpd restart

You can then test your Linux Mint machine’s FTP service from the server’s command line:

ftp 127.0.0.1

The FTP client will ask for your username. Enter that, and then the client will ask for your password. Enter that as well, and you should then see the FTP prompt, which looks like this:

ftp>

If you see that, you know the server is working. You can return to the regular command line with this command:

exit

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