Installing and Configuring ProFTPD

[Note that the following instructions have not been fully tested.]

To install ProFTPd on Ubuntu (or most Debian based) Linux, execute the following commands.  Although highly recommended, only the first command should be used if you don't have a GUI desktop installed on your server:

sudo apt-get install proftpd

Installing a GUI Manager for ProFTPd

Just a few short commands will get you there.

sudo apt-get install gadmin-proftpd

sudo rm /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

Be sure to see the note above regarding setting gksu-properties or you will not be able to run gadmin-proftpd.

The first time you start gadmin-proftpd, you will need to configure a few settings. All default values should be used unless otherwise noted below:

  • Server Name: off
  • Admin email:
  • Enable virtual users: checked
  • Server user: ftpuser
  • Server group: ftpgroup

To add a virtual user:

  • Click on the Users tab
  • Click the '+Add' button. All settings can remain with their default values except:
    • Username: Enter a username.
    • Password: Enter a password.
    • Group: ftpgroup
  • Click +Add directory
  • Click File System
  • Click home
  • Click ftpuser
  • Click the Open button
  • Modify the directory permissions as needed.
  • Click the Apply button.

CAUTION: Each time you click the Apply button, the selected user changes back to the first user in the list and you will be looking at that accounts settings. To make review and/or make further changes, you will need to re-select the user.

By default, system users get FTP access. However once the vitual users option is enable, system account users will no longer be able to login. If this is not what you want, remove the entire AuthPAM off module lines in the Configuration tab.

In the Configuration tab, APPEND the following lines AT THE END to fix an issue that prevents FTP clients such as Filezilla or WinSCP from connecting to the server:

<IfModule mod_facts.c>
FactsAdvertise off

IMPORTANT: Once the server is configured, you may be prompted, when launching Gadmin-ProFTPd, to overwrite the current configuration with a suitable standard configuration. This is likely because you placed the above code before the end of the file. Be sure to click No or you will loose your current configuration.


Installing and Configuring ProFTPD — 5 Comments

  1. I have made all of above and i get:
    fatal: User: Unknown user ‘ftpuser’ on line 20 of ‘/etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf’

  2. GADMIN-PROFTPD could not find the proftpd configuration
    or you are using a basic configuration that doesnt have
    all the features that this program requires.

    Do you want to overwrite your current proftpd configuration
    with a suitable standard configuration for gadmin-proftpd ?
    (If you don’t know then press yes)

    if i press yes it crashes, if no i can see the main window

  3. I installed ProFTP on CentOS 7.4, login success on browser but I don’t see button to upload (haven’t any button to control it)

    • Hi Ken, thank you for your question.

      I recommend using a dedicated FTP client like WinSCP (Windows) or Filezilla (Windows, OS X, Linux). Tried this to make sure your FTP site actually works and that you can upload files.

      While just about all browsers today support downloading files from FTP sites, uploading files to an FTP site is a feature that is not supported in all web browsers. Have you tried it using Internet Explorer? Note that if Internet Explorer fails to login, it might not warn you but you won’t be able to upload files. Use the following syntax to login: . If you would rather not include the password in the URL, omit the colon and the password. Internet Explorer will then prompt you for the password.

      Finally, if everything is working properly, you may not see an upload button or any button. To upload a file, navigate to the folder where you want to upload a file and just drag and drop it from Windows explorer. This should work regardless of whether you are using one of the dedicated FTP clients mentioned above or Internet Explorer.

      Hope this helps. Best regards,

      Michael Milette

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