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I have very little background in Linux of any type, so I'm completely firing off the hip to begin with.

I have been asked by the boss to set up an FTP server based on CentOS. So far, things have gone as expected and I've been able to get most everything set up as I need it. When a new user is created, two folders are automatically created in the user's home directory - upload & download.

I need to be able to set up permissions so that when a new user is created and the default directories are created, the user will be unable to delete anything from those folders.

Any assistance on this problem would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! Ian

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3 Answers 3

We'll need more information about your setup to give a better answer, but, to start with, you can modify the script you're using to create upload and download to set permissions and change ownership, something like:

# create the directories
mkdir $USERHOME/upload $USERHOME/download

# Set permissions on those directories to make them read-only for $USER
chown root:root $USERHOME/upload $USERHOME/download
chmod 755 $USERHOME/upload $USERHOME/download

You can use some other user than root for the ownership, perhaps the FTP user, for example.

The trick with this arrangement is that the user presumably owns $USERHOME, and can therefore delete the $USERHOME/upload and $USERHOME/download directories, if they are non-empty (the user will not be able to remove non-empty directories, though) (the user can do this because removing those directories depends on the permissions on the parent directory $USERHOME, not the ownership of the subdirectories themselves).

To prevent that (while preserving the user's ability to easily write to files in $USERHOME), you can also do this in your script:

touch $USERHOME/upload/.dummyfile $USERHOME/upload/.dummyfile

The user will not be able to remove the directory because .dummyfile is there.

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Look into the umask command. Set it as needed in /etc/profile and your users will, by default, create files with the privs specified.

Depending on the FTP software you're using it also may be possible to set this behavior in its configuration file. If you haven't, I'd recommend taking a look at something like this which will encapsulate a lot of the capabilities you need while not necessarily requiring that your users have actual shell accounts.

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For CentOS, you will probably choose to use vsftpd. This is a great daemon for security and performances. https://security.appspot.com/vsftpd/vsftpd_conf.html

You can specify if a user can have a chroot environment, (chroot_local_user=YES); You can specify a predefined skeleton for his home, when you create the user (useradd -k /path/to/your/skel)

By default, be unable to delete anything from the folders is a tipical restriction of the anonymous users, that you can get with chown_uploads.

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Thank you very much. This is definitely a start. –  Ian Stradling Aug 1 '12 at 14:23

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