I have been trying to figure out how to allow users to upload to a directory with VSFTPD on an Apache2/Redhat5.5 server. I have been trying for hours to allow anonymous users to upload. Out of everything I have tried, nothing works. I can currently ftp download as 'anonymous', but I cannot upload.

# Example config file /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
# The default compiled in settings are fairly paranoid. This sample file
# loosens things up a bit, to make the ftp daemon more usable.
# Please see vsftpd.conf.5 for all compiled in defaults.
# READ THIS: This example file is NOT an exhaustive list of vsftpd options.
# Please read the vsftpd.conf.5 manual page to get a full idea of vsftpd's
# capabilities.
# Allow anonymous FTP? (Beware - allowed by default if you comment this out).
# Uncomment this to allow local users to log in.
# Uncomment this to enable any form of FTP write command.
# Default umask for local users is 077. You may wish to change this to 022,
# if your users expect that (022 is used by most other ftpd's)
# Uncomment this to allow the anonymous FTP user to upload files. This only
# has an effect if the above global write enable is activated. Also, you will
# obviously need to create a directory writable by the FTP user.
# Uncomment this if you want the anonymous FTP user to be able to create
# new directories.
# Activate directory messages - messages given to remote users when they
# go into a certain directory.
# The target log file can be vsftpd_log_file or xferlog_file.
# This depends on setting xferlog_std_format parameter
# Make sure PORT transfer connections originate from port 20 (ftp-data).
# If you want, you can arrange for uploaded anonymous files to be owned by
# a different user. Note! Using "root" for uploaded files is not
# recommended!
# The name of log file when xferlog_enable=YES and xferlog_std_format=YES
# WARNING - changing this filename affects /etc/logrotate.d/vsftpd.log
# Switches between logging into vsftpd_log_file and xferlog_file files.
# NO writes to vsftpd_log_file, YES to xferlog_file
# You may change the default value for timing out an idle session.
# You may change the default value for timing out a data connection.
# It is recommended that you define on your system a unique user which the
# ftp server can use as a totally isolated and unprivileged user.
# Enable this and the server will recognise asynchronous ABOR requests. Not
# recommended for security (the code is non-trivial). Not enabling it,
# however, may confuse older FTP clients.
# By default the server will pretend to allow ASCII mode but in fact ignore
# the request. Turn on the below options to have the server actually do ASCII
# mangling on files when in ASCII mode.
# Beware that on some FTP servers, ASCII support allows a denial of service
# attack (DoS) via the command "SIZE /big/file" in ASCII mode. vsftpd
# predicted this attack and has always been safe, reporting the size of the
# raw file.
# ASCII mangling is a horrible feature of the protocol.
# You may fully customise the login banner string:
#ftpd_banner=Welcome to blah FTP service.
# You may specify a file of disallowed anonymous e-mail addresses. Apparently
# useful for combatting certain DoS attacks.
# (default follows)
# You may specify an explicit list of local users to chroot() to their home
# directory. If chroot_local_user is YES, then this list becomes a list of
# users to NOT chroot().
# (default follows)
# You may activate the "-R" option to the builtin ls. This is disabled by
# default to avoid remote users being able to cause excessive I/O on large
# sites. However, some broken FTP clients such as "ncftp" and "mirror" assume
# the presence of the "-R" option, so there is a strong case for enabling it.
# When "listen" directive is enabled, vsftpd runs in standalone mode and 
# listens on IPv4 sockets. This directive cannot be used in conjunction 
# with the listen_ipv6 directive.
# This directive enables listening on IPv6 sockets. To listen on IPv4 and IPv6
# sockets, you must run two copies of vsftpd whith two configuration files.
# Make sure, that one of the listen options is commented !!


Edit, I tried adding this line:

  • You may want to put error you are getting when you attempted to upload as anonymous, as well as the path to the directory that you are uploading to.
    – Rilindo
    Nov 28, 2011 at 4:37
  • The feedback I am getting from FileZilla is: "553 Could not create file." "Error: Critical file transfer error". I have been trying to uplaod to var/ftp . I have also added anon_root=/var/ftp since posting.
    – Roger
    Nov 28, 2011 at 5:11

2 Answers 2


Two things you need to enable at least:


(which it appears you already have).


If you are running SELinux:

setsebool -P allow_ftpd_anon_write  on

Since it looks like you are using mostly the defaults with vsftpd.conf, you are probably using the default FTP user directory at /var/ftp/pub. In that case, make sure that either pub or the directories under pub as writeable (you may need to apply the appropriate SELinux file context as well in case they don't get inherited the attributes from pub, but it is not likely that you need to do that).

  • SELinux is disabled for testing. How do I make the directories under pub writable?
    – Roger
    Nov 28, 2011 at 5:01
  • cd to /var/ftp/pub, create directory of your choice and chown it to the FTP user as "chown ftp:ftp". You may to give write with "chmod u+w"
    – Rilindo
    Nov 28, 2011 at 5:09
  • 1
    Thank you Rilindo! chown was it. If I could give two checks I would.
    – Roger
    Nov 28, 2011 at 5:22

You have to set anon_root to some directory (like /var/ftp/pub/upload) to set the upload folder of the anonymous user.

anon_root = /var/ftp/pub/upload

Another similar issue here: Allow anonymous upload for Vsftpd?

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