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I need to allow broad anonymous download access via vsftpd, but restrict uploads to only a single path. Is there any way to do this is other than with the filesystem permissions?

There are two main problems with trying to lock down the filesystem:

  1. It affects all users -- this is a heterogeneous system, so it's difficult to ensure everyone except the FTP user has access.
  2. It doesn't appear to be hierarchical -- even if we can lock down the top-level directories, it seems easy for someone to create an FTP-writeable subdirectory, at which point vsftpd appears to happily allow things to be uploaded to it.

Right now #2 is the bigger concern, so we actually have the read-only area mounted as a read-only filesystem, but this is causing its own problems.

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1 Answer 1

You can use the bind mount option to map/remount an already mounted part of a file system hierarchy to somewhere else. Say you have a samba share with Videos and a second with an Image library and you want to offer those as a read only FTP downloads.

mkdir -p /var/ftp/Videos /var/ftp/Images
mount --bind /share/Videos /var/ftp/Videos
mount --bind /share/Images /var/ftp/Images

Then make those file systems read-only:

mount -o remount,ro /var/ftp/Videos
mount -o remount,ro /var/ftp/Images

The file system permissions remain unaltered, but everything under Videos and Images is now read-only. So it is unlikely that a sub-directory with drwx------ can be accessed by the FTP user, but neither can the FTP user write to in a sub-directory with drwxrwxrwx permissions.

The bind mount doesn't take options so to achieve a read-only mount requires a remount and therefore I think you can't use fstab to make this persistent and need to script this instead.

Next set up the upload directory:

mkdir -p /var/ftp/Upload
chmod 700 /var/ftp/Upload
chown ftp.ftp /var/ftp/Upload 

Then configure vsftpd properly for anonymous downloads and chroot() the anonymous FTP user to /var/ftp. It's been a while since I did that, but roughly and untested:

# /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
#The following directives prevent local users from logging in and enables anonymous access respectively.
#The following directive enables write access to the ftp server’s filesystem. 
# Sets the root directory for anonymous connections.

Of course there are a lot more relevant options to include.

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