Can someone tell me where is located the log file for vsftpd? I'm trying to learn how to install and configure a ftp server and I can't seem to find the log file. Can anybody tell me how to configure the service to make a log file or where is located?


The log file for Ubuntu by default is /var/log/vsftpd.log. The setting is in /etc/vsftpd.conf

The default could be modified by specifying a different pathname (/etc/vsftp.conf entry):

# You may override where the log file goes if you like. The default is shown
# below.                     
  • 1
    If you'd like to view a live, realtime log of all events happening on the FTP server, do tail -f vsftpd.log. Tail is a program that displays the 'tail' of a file, -f tells it to follow any data appended to the file, in this case, any new log entries in the ftp log vsftpd.log. – Skybbles Oct 15 '18 at 18:48

Sometimes it happens that the log is not filling any data, because the file doesn't exist. Create a log file:

touch /var/log/vsftpd.log


service vsftpd restart
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    The touch /var/log/vsftpd.log shouldn't be necessary. If it is needed, it should be a sign that there is a problem with the vsftpd installation or configuration. The log file should automatically be created if it doesn't exist. I tested it to make sure this would indeed be the case, by renaming the /var/log/vsftpd.log. It was automatically recreated to log the vsftpd activity. The recreating is the same thing that happens when the log file is rotated... moved to /var/log/vsftpd.log.1. – L. D. James Sep 12 '18 at 23:40

The logging of vsftpd is a bit more complex than other responses show. There are three logging mechanism, here is an example config of /etc/vsftpd.conf where I have added some comments for self-explanation:

# Below verbose log is for transfer/upload, formatted for common tools stats.
# Use command: tail -f /var/log/xferlog

# Below verbose log is for FTP commands and responses.
# By default, logs were written to syslog instead of file.
# Use command: tail -f /var/log/vsftpd.log
# Use command: logread -f

# Allow log 1 and 2 to be written simultaneously.

Once modified at your discretion, you must do a: service vsftpd restart

Due to the amount of logging generated, you might want to disable it as soon as you are finished debugging. More specifically, reverting to syslog_enable=YES will move back to logging into RAM ringbuffer in OpenWrt and avoid wear out flash.

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