I can't get vsfptd working on Ubuntu 12.04.

my vsftpd.conf file looks like this, and I try to connect with a local user:


Error message in FileZilla:

Response:   331 Please specify the password.
Command:    PASS ****
Response:   530 Login incorrect.
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    try restarting the vsftpd. >sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart I had the same issue, but this worked for me. – v1h5 Jan 31 '14 at 18:10
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    Another thing to check : what is the login shell for the user. is that shell present in /etc/shells – user400315 Apr 22 '15 at 3:12
  • Please how can I modify the /etc/shells ? – user558008 Jun 17 '16 at 3:48
  • For me, there was just wrong format for the user in /etc/passwd - i needed to set the right home dir, shell, and the ,,, part. – Hannes Schneidermayer Apr 19 '17 at 16:15

Back up the config file before making a change;

sudo cp /etc/vsftpd.conf /etc/vsftpd.conf.back

and then edit vsftpd.conf (with vi or nano)

nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Then make the following change


Save your change and restart the ftp server (if you use nano hit CTRL+O & enter to save then CTRL+X to exit)

sudo service vsftpd restart

Source: VSFTPD configuration problems with 12.04

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    This problem also, can be solved in debian7 by this answer. – shgnInc Feb 1 '15 at 7:36
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    What is the rationale behind this one? – Joost Aug 20 '15 at 21:08
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    You are disabling default access control via PAM, because default "ftp" has no rules. The default pam_service_name=vsftp uses the file /etc/pam.d/vsftpd. This file by default requires FTP users to have a shell listed in /etc/shells and requires them not to be listed in /etc/ftpusers. – Jeroen Vermeulen - MageHost Sep 4 '15 at 14:41
  • Solved me the same problem on Ubuntu 14.04. Thanks! – Rotem Oct 11 '15 at 10:23
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    @JeroenVermeulenBVBA +1 you are right. I fear some people just don't know what's actually happening underneath and why it appears to "work". – Stphane Dec 7 '16 at 14:32

By default vsFTPd uses the file /etc/pam.d/vsftpd. This file by default requires FTP users to have a shell listed in /etc/shells and requires them not to be listed in /etc/ftpusers. If you check those 2 things your probably find what the problem is.

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    I think this should be the accept answer because it points out where is the problem. – PhoneixS Sep 26 '18 at 11:18
  • How does one make sure the FTP user has one of these shells? Asking for a friend... – Allen May 19 at 0:32
  • @Allen This is defined in the file /etc/passwd. Each line is the info about one user. The fields are separated by a colon (:). The 7th field contains the path to the shell binary of the user. – Jeroen Vermeulen - MageHost May 20 at 7:56

I did not need to change the vsftpd.conf. Only needed to make sure that a shell was set in my /etc/passwd file, that also was lited in /etc/shells.

So basically after useradd without a shell I needed to make sure the home directory was created and that the user had /bin/bash as it's shell.

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  • Thanks that's what happened to me. The other solutions worked by removing all safety mechanisms, this one was actually solved the problem. – VinGarcia May 2 '18 at 0:56

I met this problem when I tried to login in with root and I just solved it.
my vsftpd: version 3.0.2


check the following file(it contains list of users disallowed FTP access):



In my case, I commented out root from the file,then it worked.

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  • I did same to be able to login as root, but didn't worked – VISHAL DAGA Apr 7 '19 at 4:08
  • Not a good idea to enable thoses users! There is a security reason why they are refused. – MUY Belgium Nov 29 '19 at 17:01

Please make some changes in /etc/vsftpd.conf


if you want to set access by default /var/www directory for local user you can do that with below line.....


now save and exit......

restart vsftpd server using sudo service vsftpd restart

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The suggested resolution did not work for me. I gave up on the ftp user, and switched my attention to the ubuntu user. I made sure there was a password associated with the ubuntu user.

I made sure to enable passive mode, and set local_enable=YES in the vsftpd.conf file.

I was able to authenticate just fine using the ubuntu account. And I successfully uploaded a large file to my Amazon Ubuntu FTP server. Clearly there was something amiss with the ftp user.

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i used ubuntu 18.04 and LetsEncrypt certificates for TLS encryption. What worked was changing the name of the pam_service_name=ftp the error i was getting in Filezilla was

"GnuTLS error -15": An unexpected TLS packet was received.

Reference: FTPS set up in ubuntu 18.04

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