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CentOS / Red Hat Linux Install VSFTPD FTP Server

Q. How do I configure and install an FTP server in CentOS / RHEL 5 / Fedora Linux server?

A. CentOS / RHEL server comes with vsftpd which is the Very Secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) daemon. The server can be launched via a xinetd or as standalone mode, in which case vsftpd itself will listen on the network port 21.

How do I install vsftpd?

Simply type the following command as a superuser (root):
# yum install vsftpd

WARNING! These examples open your computer to insecure ftp protocol. If possible use SFTP ftp secure sever which is inbuilt into OpenSSH SSHD server.

Turn on vsftpd ftp service

Type the following command:
# chkconfig vsftpd on

How do I start vsftpd ftp server?

Type the following command:
# service vsftpd start

How do I stop vsftpd ftp server?

Type the following command:
# service vsftpd stop

How do I restart vsftpd ftp server?

Type the following command:
# service vsftpd restart

Open FTP port

Open /etc/sysconfig/iptables file, enter:
# vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables
Append following line to open ftp port 21 before REJECT line:
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 21 -j ACCEPT
Save and close the file. Restart the firewall:
# service iptables start

Test ftp server

Type the following command:
$ ftp localhost
$ ftp ftp.server.com
$ ftp

How do I configure vsftpd server?

The default configuration file is /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf file. You can open file with vi text editor:
# vi /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
See see vsftpd.conf man pages for all configuration options.
$ man vsftpd.conf

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • chika May 22, 2008, 10:29 pm


    how about proftpd vs vsftpd?
    i wanna install this kind of application soon…

  • sky June 11, 2008, 7:18 am

    pls send the details…. configuration of ftp server in linux

    • Tanmoy June 10, 2015, 2:51 pm

      # service iptables stop
      # chkconfig iptables off
      # yum install vsftpd* -y
      # vim /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
      remove a # from this line (chroot_local_user=YES)
      add the line in last end.. (userlist_deny=NO)
      # vim /etc/vsftpd/user_list
      add the user for ftp access
      # setsebool -P allow_ftpd_full_access on
      # service vsftpd restart
      # chkconfig vsftpd on

  • sankar March 6, 2009, 10:02 am

    here mentioned only iptables concept. I may except /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf

  • ketan April 28, 2009, 2:11 pm

    when we create yum server that time we use cmmand
    cp -dpr * /var/ftp/pub
    i want to ask that why we copy that in /var/ftp/pub and what we copy

  • Juddling June 9, 2009, 1:07 pm

    I had to add this to my /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf:


    And the firewall exception:

    -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p tcp -m tcp -m state –dport 12000:12003 –state NEW -j ACCEPT

    But it all works now :)

  • Ying March 15, 2010, 2:40 pm

    File size for FTP
    Can we limit file size for FTP ? Download/upload not over 2 MB size ? or something like that ?

  • Tahir Mehmood February 21, 2011, 9:30 am

    simple and to the point article, very useful for beginners. thaks.

  • Flenix October 22, 2011, 9:19 am

    This guide is sort of useless. Could you not tell us the expected output, so we know we’ve done it right?

  • martin November 22, 2011, 5:08 pm

    Quick, simple, elegant article – thanks.

  • Paul January 6, 2012, 3:59 pm

    Great article. It contains everything i needed. While other locations contained some important information, the information that really saved me was the allowing of port 21 through the firewall, since most OS don’t have it as a default.

  • asep March 19, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Thank for your information…….

  • Jeremy July 29, 2013, 5:38 pm

    Awesome, worked perfectly on my new Centos server through Godaddy… FTP was already installed so all I needed to do was ‘start’ the server and boom I opened FileZilla and it immediately connected.

    Thank you for this resource

  • vimal August 26, 2013, 6:12 am

    Can anyone please share me the limk to download RHEL WS 4 Update1 iso’s……!!!!!! please urgent !!!!!!!

  • Bob September 5, 2013, 6:48 am

    Getting the server setup is one thing, and thanks for a great article on how to accomplish it. But, now, how do we add users and drop them into specific directories?

  • kubrick February 26, 2014, 9:39 am

    To start working the service under CentOS, I’d add the following command (as ‘root’):
    $ setsebool -P ftp_home_dir=1

    Without it, the servide did not work for me…

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