I installed pure-ftpd on Ubuntu 8.04 using

aptitude install pure-ftpd

What's the step to add users?

I'm new to pure-ftpd and PAM authentication, but I followed pure-ftpd documentation to do pure-pw useradd then restarted pure-ftpd but no dice.

It still says "authentication failed" when trying to connect with ftp client.

I verified that there is a /etc/pure-ftpd/pure-ftpd.passwd entry for the user that was added.

So what's the missing piece of the puzzle?

7 Answers 7


I've just had a similar problem. I've added user using pure-pw useradd and get 530 Login authentication failed.

The solution was a symlink added to /etc/pure-ftpd/auth directory pointing to /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/PureDB (there is a path to file that keeps ftp users) that shows in alphabetical order before other files in auth, e.g.

cd /etc/pure-ftpd/auth/
ln -s ../conf/PureDB 50PureDB

Then, ls within the same directory returns:

50PureDB -> ../conf/PureDB
65unix -> ../conf/UnixAuthentication
70pam -> ../conf/PAMAuthentication

Did you run "pure-pw mkdb" after adding users?

  • No, but I just tried it. Same thing when I try to ftp localhost. The entry is still in the pureftp.passwd file. Is there any way to just make it user the linux /etc/passwd for authentication? I am the only user of the cloud instance so I don't need ftp after this update, I will disable it. It's irksome to get stuck on such a simple issue as ftping a file.
    – Wayne
    Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 8:37
  • Did you reload the deamon also? Anyway read my other answer.
    – lg.
    Commented Jun 25, 2010 at 10:10

I recently had an issue which was solved here:


Not enough questions link to the answers in the FAQ.

To log in, the shell assigned to your users must be listed in the /etc/shells file


Why you don't user sfpt (ssh-ftp)? With SFPT you login by nuormal user credential.

A simple SFTP client is FileZilla.


Nevermind, ftp isn't necessary. Just remembered ssh can be used to transfer files via scp. That is working. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

EDIT: This is the best way to solve the situation of installing or setting up a cloud computer instance because they always give you ssh access. Since scp runs on stop of ssh to transfer files, it means there's nothing to install or configure to transfer files.

Now if you need to do regular file updates then a different tool like maybe rsync or such would be better.

Sincerely, Wayne

  • Wayne - if this is how you resolved the problem, then please mark your answer as "Accepted" so that people will now that the question is closed.
    – Guss
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 12:31

Pure FTPd is set by default in Ubuntu to authenticate using PAM. This means that you'd need to add users to the system's user database using the command useradd.


Guys I discovered something,

The problem is not with pure-ftpd

Kindly check the ftp login password, if it has special characters in it.

Just escape the special characters in it


will be


It should work.

Thank you!

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