How to install vsftpd on CentOS

vsftpd stands for‭ ‬Very‭ ‬Secure‭ ‬File‭ ‬Transfer‭ ‬Protocol‭ ‬Daemon and it's a popular and well known FTP server for Unix-like‭ (‬Linux,*BSD‭) operating systems.

In this tutorial we will cover how to install and configure‭ ‬vsftpd FTP server on CentOS‭ ‬5-6.

Before getting started check:

  • you already have CentOS Linux version 5 or 6 installed;
  • you have an SSH access;
  • your system is connected to the Internet;

Installing vsftpd


sudo yum install vsftpd

The above command will download the‭ ‬vsftpd‭ ‬from the CentOS repository and‭ install it automatically.

Once the installation is completed,‭ the default configuration file will be placed in /etc/vsftpd/ directory.
‬We need to make some changes in the‭ ‬default config file.‭ Open the file in an editor. For example "nano":

sudo nano -w /etc/vsftpd/config

Add/uncomment what you need and leave the rest as it is:

xferlog_enable=YES   #Your logs will be written to‭ ‬/var/log/xferlog

To start the service and and to make it start on boot run:

sudo service vsftpd start
sudo chkconfig vsftpd on

Check if the server started successfully:

ftp localhost

vsftpd: common problems

"‬500‭ ‬OOPS:‭ ‬cannot change directory:/home/someuser" error

Most likely you have SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux - is a feature commonly enabled by default in the modern systems). There are two ways to deal with it: disable SELinux or configure it properly.

To disable SELinux open SELinux config file in an editor:

sudo nano -w ‬/etc/selinux/config
and change SELINUX=enabled to "disabled".

To configure SELinux properly run:

sudo setsebool‎ ‏-P ftp_home_dir on

Execution of this command may take some time to be completed,‎ ‏a minute ‏or two, so wait until you get back to the prompt.

  1. Bill Osborne
    2013-03-08 15:57:51
    I did all the above but still got ftp: command not found wheni do ftp localhost.
    any suggestions?
  1. Sergey
    2013-03-08 16:01:17
    ftp is the client, vsftpd is the server. You need to install it with "yum install ftp"

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