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?

3 Answers 3


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.
    – skybldev
    Oct 15, 2018 at 18:48

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.


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
  • 1
    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. Sep 12, 2018 at 23:40

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