VSFTPD cap_set_proc and dead but subsys locked errors and solution

by on August 16, 2006 · 9 comments· LAST UPDATED August 16, 2006


VSFTPD is the one of the easiest and secure FTP server out there. However today it bumps back with two errors.

#1: 500 OOPS: cap_set_proc error

After successful user login vsftpd will display an error:
$ ftp ftpserver.xyz.com


Connected to ftpserver.xyz.com.
220 (vsFTPd 2.0.5)
Name (localhost:vivek): vivek
331 Please specify the password.
230 Login successful.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.
ftp> ls
500 OOPS: cap_set_proc
ftp: bind: Address already in use

cap_set_proc is POSIX capability manipulation on processes function (related to filesystems but I am not sure). After searching bit I found the solution. You need to load the standard Linux capabilities security module:
# modprobe capability

#2: vsftpd dead but subsys locked error

This is another error - one of my clients was receiving while starting vsftpd. There was already ftp server running and address 21 was bind to this ftp server. So vsftpd dead but subsys locked error was generated. xinetd was configured to run wu-ftpd (quite old ftp software). Solution was simple I had removed the wu-ftpd.

TwitterFacebookGoogle+PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page? Help us!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 patrick August 16, 2006 at 7:31 pm

Great troubleshooting tip, it will come handy some day.

Do you know how to limit user to their home directories? What I want is user should not able to visit /root or /tmp directory or all other directory.



2 Planet Malaysia August 18, 2006 at 1:59 am

After edit vsftpd.conf file, I have subsys locked error before.


3 sure October 5, 2006 at 12:29 pm

#2: vsftpd dead but subsys locked error

how to clear these problume


4 Sandeep Sharma April 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm

If we are getting this error “vsftpd dead but subsys locked ” then
then follow the followid steps: –

netstat -tupnla |grep “:21″
output like
tcp 0 0* LISTEN 3876/xinetd
kill -9 3876
then restart ftp service
/etc/init.d/vsftpd restart and
service xinetd restart

It will solve your problem.


5 Thomas May 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

That’s a temporal solution.

IF you encounter the “vsftpd dead but subsys locked” then it’s most likely a second ftp daemon that is started in /etc/xinetd.d

Try this:
cd /etc/xinetd.d
grep -i ftp *

=> IF there is some sort of ftp service listed (gssftp, wuftp, etc) remove it from your xinetd.d folder (eg. if it is gssftp: rm gssftp) and then, to prove that everything is fine, restart your system (shutdown -r now) or at least restart xinetd AND vsftpd
service xinetd restart
service vsftpd restart

IF your configuration is fine it will no longer cause any problems!

Most other solutions (stopping xinetd, starting ftp service, starting xinetd) is NOT solving the problem, it’s just messing up the other ftp service that should not be running at all. AND: After the next reboot it will fail again -> So the problem is not fixed.
Removing the second ftp-service WILL fix the problem!


6 chandan May 15, 2009 at 6:49 am

Please disabled ftp_port=20 in vsftpd.conf file
and get rid of problems


7 Mukesh Maurya August 4, 2009 at 10:33 am

I am facing problem in vsftp server. I’m working on RHEL4 server. the vsftpd service was working fine but now suddenly I found
that it is not working. Whenever I restart or stop the service I’m getting following messages.
1. Service vsftpd status
Vsftpd dead but subsys locked
2. Service vsftpd stop
Shutting Down vsftpd: [Failed]
3. Service vsftpd start
Starting vsftpd for vsftpd: [ok]
4.Service vsftpd status
Vsftpd dead but subsys locked

Kindly suggest….what can be done so that the vsftpd service work properly



8 Dszabolcs September 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

I exactly have the issue related above.
PLS help.

Thank you


9 Tolbert September 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I am totally facing the same problem as Mukesh Maurya,anybody assist gone through forums nothing…..


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: