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I tried 3 different guides, and they were either outdated or they didn't work. Most of the Google results were for Ubuntu, so it didn't really apply to me because I was using Debian. I don't really know this stuff well, so when I see a guide that says to modify a directory/file that is not even in my system, I get lost. Could someone please point me to a good guide for setting up VSFTPD on Debian? I just want to setup FTP for my developer to work on my website.

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95% of the guides for Ubuntu are just as useful for Debian when you are using the official packages. A large majority of the Ubuntu packages are directly copied from the Debian testing/unstable branch and have only minor differences. The only major difference is that Ubuntu tends to be running a new version then the current 'stable' Debian package. – Zoredache Feb 25 '11 at 21:39
I didn't want to post this as an answer (maybe Zoredache or Zypher should, though), but here's a link to the chat transcript where this was discussed and solved: – Ward Feb 26 '11 at 18:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try with the official debian howto here: It is pretty simple. VSFTP is very simple to configure.

A little more deeper guide is located here:

If you want a GUI, try to install WebMin and the VSTPD module, like suggested in the last link.

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Thank you, but how do I configure a user to the FTP for my developer? – Doug Feb 25 '11 at 19:49
By default VSFTPD is using system authentication for the user. Create a system user for your developer – keatch Feb 25 '11 at 19:53
How do I restrict the user from going into root and only go to /www/ – Doug Feb 25 '11 at 20:26
see post below. – David Rickman Feb 25 '11 at 20:38

To answer your comment, Doug:

You'll want to set your developer's users home directory to the /www/

Then you'll lock all local users down and allow users only their home directory with:


If you only want certain users to be chroot'd:


Then edit your /etc/vsftpd.chroot_list file to include the users you want chroot'd.

By the way, here are the vsftpd config docs

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Thanks Dave. I followed your instructions and I added the user to the list then /etc/init.d/vstfpd restart. However, I'm logging into the user that I added to chroot_list via WinSCP using SFTP and I am still able to go to the root directory. FYI, I created using useradd. – Doug Feb 25 '11 at 21:30
@Doug, SFTP has absolutely nothing to do with vsftpd. SFTP is part of openssh-server. If you want to chroot sftp please see sftp ChrootDirectory – Zoredache Feb 25 '11 at 21:48
vsftpd == ftp. sftp == ssh. ftps == secure ftp – David Rickman Feb 28 '11 at 15:23

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