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I have a MacPorts installed ProFTPD daemon installed. It worked like a charm for a year. Now it does not work at all anymore. All I get is

Connection refused

ftp localhost
Trying ::1...
ftp: Can't connect to `::1': Connection refused
ftp: Can't connect to `': Connection refused
Trying fe80::1%lo0...
ftp: Can't connect to `fe80::1%lo0': Connection refused
ftp: Can't connect to `localhost'

I wrote to MacPorts and ProFTP, but no answers there as of yet so I hope someone here can help me out.


Found some troubleshooting tips here. When I check for ProTPD processes I get

ps -ef | grep proftpd
    0    58     1   0  4Aug13 ??         0:00.77 /opt/local/bin/daemondo --label=proftpd --start-cmd /opt/local/etc/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.proftpd/proftpd.wrapper start ; --stop-cmd /opt/local/etc/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.proftpd/proftpd.wrapper stop ; --restart-cmd /opt/local/etc/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.proftpd/proftpd.wrapper restart ; --pid=none
  501 27233 26992   0  1:42PM ttys000    0:00.00 grep proftpd

So it seems some processes are running. But not the needed ProFTPD process.

When I used the following command to see if port 21 is active:

sudo lsof -i :21

I get zero results. So ProFTPD is clearly not running and port 21 is not active which is the regular FTP port.


Does anyone here know what I am missing here? I need it back to to the sweet any easy updating of local website copies.


ProFTPD Configuration file is here . Even though it is a basic setup there does not seem to be anything wrong with it. @Janne Pikkarainen mentioned it was missing directories, but in the end this was not the issue.

Update 2 Debug Commands

Asked by GioMac I tried sudo proftpd -n -d 10. Command was not found. The command sudo /opt/local/sbin/proftpd -n -d 10 did work and gave us some clues

Update 3 Re-installation Port

I reinstalled all as suggested by GioMac and that did not work either. Still had the same errors.

Update 4 The Solution: Proper (re)starting ProFTDP

Then I ran sudo /opt/local/etc/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.proftpd/proftpd.wrapper start as suggested by @GioMac. Running similar command from sbin and bin did not work. And then I tested the FTP connection again.

sudo /opt/local/etc/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.proftpd/proftpd.wrapper start

Command worked and I had no errors. ProFTPD was (re)started like this again. Then I did the ultimate test to see if I could FTP locally again:

jaspersmbp:etc jasper$ cd
jaspersmbp:~ jasper$ ftp jasper@localhost
Trying ::1...
ftp: Can't connect to `::1': Connection refused
Connected to localhost.
220 ProFTPD 1.3.3e Server (ProFTPD Default Installation) []
331 Password required for jasper
230 User jasper logged in
Remote system type is UNIX.

Eureka! Connection could be made again and I could also update my local WordPress installations again.

share|improve this question
No, it's not running, try to run proftpd manually with "sudo proftpd -n -d 10" for debug – GioMac Aug 17 '13 at 9:53
sudo proftpd -n -d 10 sudo: proftpd: command not found so proftpd is not running after all I guess.. – rhand Aug 17 '13 at 9:55
sudo /opt/local/bin/proftpd -n -d 10 – GioMac Aug 17 '13 at 9:56
Hmm odly enough the binary is not in /opt/local/bin : sudo /opt/local/bin/proftpd -n -d 10 sudo: /opt/local/bin/proftpd: command not found even though I installed it and port installed | grep proftpd proftpd @1.3.3e_0 (active) – rhand Aug 17 '13 at 10:01
sudo /opt/local/sbin/proftpd -n -d 10 – GioMac Aug 17 '13 at 10:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Looks like there's something wrong with this file, probably something changed in the system or package is broken. Try to reinstall...


Use fink instead - these builds are more stable for me.

share|improve this answer
Uninstalling and reinstalling has been taken care of, but I still have the connection refused. Stop using MacPorts for Fink or Homebrew is something I want to avoid if I can. The next Mac I buy will probably get Homebrew, but this MBP will keep MacPorts if possible. – rhand Aug 17 '13 at 10:23
OK, let's continue investigation. "sudo /opt/local/etc/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.proftpd/proftpd.wrapper start". Also, please upload contents of this file and update your question accordingly. – GioMac Aug 17 '13 at 10:26
Worked like a charm! Thanks! See updated question. Not sure why this was necessary though. Should have been running already.. – rhand Aug 17 '13 at 10:36
OK, looks like problem with /opt/local/bin/daemondo or running script :S – GioMac Aug 17 '13 at 10:37

The wrapper that tries to start/stop/restart ProFTPd seems to be running, but not the ProFTPd itself. The reasons that can lead to this that come up to my mind:

  • A typo or two in ProFTPd configuration file
  • ProFTPd pid file configured to be in a directory where it does not have permissions to write
  • Bad permissions in ProFTPd data directory
  • Something changed in authentication which ProFTPd is configured to use
  • Just a broken build of ProFTPd itself.

What happens if you try to start ProFTPd from shell manually? Like, /path/to/proftpd/binary?

share|improve this answer
Config of ProFTPD I added as a pasty here: Looking for the path atm. – rhand Aug 17 '13 at 9:58
Err, is that all? No <Directory> etc parameters at all, so ProFTPd has no idea what directories to serve. I hope you have some additional config files somewhere. If not, your ProFTPd config file is severely lacking the meat. – Janne Pikkarainen Aug 17 '13 at 10:00
Well, I guess I did as all worked and connections were not refused.. But no idea where. – rhand Aug 17 '13 at 10:24

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