I'm on SLES 10.1, and trying to configure vsftpd to allow root logins. Does anyone know how to do this?

So far, I have this:


And I've added root to /etc/vsftpd.users. When I try to log in, here's what I get:

$ ftp susebox
Connected to susebox.example.com.
220-FTP Server (user 'me@example.com')
User (susebox.example.com:(none)): root
Connection closed by remote host.


BTW, if you don't know the answer, please don't bother lecturing me about how I shouldn't allow root logins. I know what I'm doing, and I accept full responsibility for any ruptures in the space-time continuum that may result.

  • Not only are you creating huge dents in the continuum, you're raping the very fabric of it's integrity! The only use I can think up for this is a honeypot, but AFAIK nobody even tries to login with root by ftp. All other uses....bit.ly/yzoSbB That being said, it's answered below. – Roman Jan 10 '12 at 15:57
  • I have this exact problem but it's in a completely isolated test network. Not all systems are on the Internet, you know. – lcbrevard Jan 31 '13 at 21:09

DISCLAIMER: Enabling root login for FTP is a Very Bad Idea for many, many reasons.

Edit your vsftpd.conf file, and add the following line:


Edit user_list and ftpusers and comment out "root".

  • 1
    Just FYI for those using vsftpd, the user_list file is located under /etc/vsftpd/user_list – GoTTimw Sep 2 '14 at 12:31
  • 1
    Fedora 20: I had to change it in both places: user_list and also ftpusers. – ATorras Nov 11 '14 at 16:22

For those (like me) using VSFTPD on Ubuntu server in mid-2013, it appears that root is allowed to login via SFTP by default, no special changes necessary.

However, if you really need FTP access, all I had to do was:

sudo nano /etc/ftpusers

And comment out the line with root on it by placing a # at the start. Save the file, and reloading the server is not even necessary.


vi /etc/pam.d/vsftpd -> if you use vsftpd


auth blablabla sense=deny file=/etc/ftpusers 

Make it to be sense= allow or you can uncomment script above it, or modify the file:ftpusers or add another ftpusers files


for Debian 8 Jessie, you just need to edit /etc/ftpusers and comment out or delete root. nothing else needed, just restart vsftpd


Vsftpd can use pam for authentication, so I suggest you check /etc/pam.d/vsftpd. You will probably find it is pam that has been configured to prevent root from logging in.


In newer versions, you may need to change pam_service_name=vsftpd to pam_service_name=ftp near the end of your /etc/vsftpd.conf file. Otherwise, you may get a login authentication error for root (or any user) even though permissions are otherwise correct.

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