Install & Setup FTP Server with VSFTPD on CentOS / RHEL

We know that FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol,” and it’s used to transfer files online. Today I’m going to install and setup FTP on RHEL / CentOS. Let’s start:

Table of Contents

  1. Install VSFTPD
  2. Configure VSFTPD
  3. Secure with SSL/TLS (Optional)
  4. Add FTP Port to FirewalLD
  5. Create an FTP User

Step 1 : Install VSFTPD

By default vsftpd is available in CentOS / RHEL repository. Just run this command to install vsftpd:

sudo yum install vsftpd

After installation, start vsftpd using this command:

sudo systemctl start vsftpd

To automatically start at boot time, we need to run this:

sudo systemctl enable vsftpd

Now let’s check is the vsftpd service running or not:

sudo systemctl status vsftpd


โ— vsftpd.service - Vsftpd ftp daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/vsftpd.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2019-09-03 20:57:19 +06; 3s ago
  Process: 22088 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/vsftpd /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 22090 (vsftpd)
   CGroup: /system.slice/vsftpd.service
           โ””โ”€22090 /usr/sbin/vsftpd /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf

Step 2 : Configure VSFTPD

Open the vsftpd configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf

Search for these lines and do the basic configuration like this:


Now restart vsftpd:

sudo systemctl restart vsftpd

Step 3 : Secure with SSL/TLS (Optional)

If you want to enable FTP transmissions with SSL/TLS, then you can follow this step. This is an optional step.

Again open the vsftpd configuration file using this command: sudo nano /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf. Add these lines at the end of the file:


You can set the path of your SSL certificate file. Or, you can generate a self-signed SSL certificate using the openssl command:

sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 3650 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.pem -out /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.pem

Now restart vsftpd again:

sudo systemctl restart vsftpd

Step 4 : Add FTP Port to FirewalLD

If your server has FirewalLD, then you need to open FTP port 21. Let’s add the port 21 to FirewalLD by typing this command:

sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=21/tcp
# Or,
sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=ftp

Reload the firewalld:

sudo firewall-cmd --reload

If SELinux is enabled, it’s recommended to run:

sudo setsebool -P ftp_home_dir on

Step 5 : Create an FTP User

We can easily add an FTP user. Let’s create one named mynotepaper:

sudo adduser mynotepaper

Set password for the user mynotepaper. After running this command, you’ll be asked for providing the password.

sudo passwd mynotepaper

To add the user to the allowed FTP users list, we need to run this:

sudo echo "mynotepaper" | sudo tee -a /etc/vsftpd/user_list

You can also add users by directly writing in this file: /etc/vsftpd/user_list

The tutorial is over. We’ve installed and configured FTP server on CentOS / RHEL. ?

Software Engineer | Ethical Hacker & Cybersecurity...

Md Obydullah is a software engineer and full stack developer specialist at Laravel, Django, Vue.js, Node.js, Android, Linux Server, and Ethichal Hacking.