0

How do I set up an FTP user with access to web root using vsftpd?

I am currently setting up a website and I am trying to learn more about web servers on the way. I used shared hosting providers before, but this time I'd like to set up the server from scratch with a VPS. I installed a LAMP stack already and installed Wordpress. Everything works so far except for updating Wordpress automatically since it is asking for FTP access.

Therefore I installed vsftpd by following this tutorial. This also works accordingly.

The problem is that in the tutorial the FTP user has it's dedicated files directory (/home/ftp_user/ftp/files), but I need to give the user access to the web root (/var/www/html/site) for Wordpress performing the update.

I tried having the local_root point to /var/www/html

and I tried setting up a symlink like this

ln -s /var/www/html /home/ftp_user/ftp/files

but both ways do not work. When I try to connect, it says

vsftpd: refusing to run with writable root inside chroot()

What is the proper way to achieve this? Or would it be better to not use the /var/www/html location at all?

0

FTP does not follow symlinks for good reasons. Instead, you should use a bind-mount.

# Create mount directory below ftp/files
mkdir /home/ftp_user/ftp/files/www

# Mount
mount -o bind /var/www/html /home/ftp_user/ftp/files/www

Try if it works.

To make it permanent add this to /etc/fstab:

/var/www/html /home/ftp_user/ftp/files/www none defaults,bind 0 0

Be aware that unlike a symlink, if you delete the www-folder you will remove all the files in /var/www/html too.

| improve this answer | |
  • This solved one of my problems, but I still get the vsftpd: refusing to run with writable root inside chroot() error. However I could resolve that one by adding allow_writeable_chroot=YES to the vsftpd.conf file. I am not sure if it is secure to add that setting, but at least it works. – jost21 Feb 27 '19 at 23:13
0

The method described by RoVo works for me. But I think I had 2 issues at the beginning (chroot and the symlinks).

By adding allow_writeable_chroot=YES to the vsftpd.conf file, it now also works to point the local_root to /var/www/html

I am not sure if it is secure to add the allow_writeable_chroot=YES setting, but it was mentioned on multiple sites/blog posts, e.g.

To make the local_root work, I added this line to /ect/vsftpd.conf:

user_config_dir=/etc/vsftpd/vsftpd-user-conf

and created a file with the name of the FTP user in the folder /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd-user-conf/ with this content:

local_root=/var/www/html
| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.