I opened port 21 using iptables firewall but when i run nmap on the server it show ftp port is closed. I restarted service vsftpd on linux but to no avail.

Below is the vsftpd.conf file:

# 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 with two configuration files.
# Make sure, that one of the listen options is commented !!

Chain INPUT (policy ACCEPT 0 packets, 0 bytes) pkts bytes target prot opt in out source destination 49051 24M ACCEPT all -- * * state RELATED,ESTABLISHED 48 3104 ACCEPT icmp -- * * 0 0 ACCEPT all -- lo * 221 12996 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:22 88 5188 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:80 28 1424 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:21 488 25316 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:443 2 104 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:636 3 156 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:3690 0 0 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:21 6 304 ACCEPT tcp -- * * state NEW tcp dpt:20 0 0 ACCEPT udp -- * * state NEW udp dpt:21 0 0 ACCEPT udp -- * * state NEW udp dpt:20 2576 130K REJECT all -- * * reject-with icmp-host-prohibited

Chain FORWARD (policy ACCEPT 0 packets, 0 bytes) pkts bytes target prot opt in out source destination 0 0 REJECT all -- * * reject-with icmp-host-prohibited

Chain OUTPUT (policy ACCEPT 47281 packets, 7169K bytes) pkts bytes target prot opt in out source destination

  • 1
    Can you post the config file?
    – John
    Oct 4, 2013 at 12:47
  • below is my vsftpd.conf file Oct 4, 2013 at 13:13
  • sori John ,but hw does 1 post a file on this website, im new ? Oct 4, 2013 at 13:23
  • @user2594853 Go to your original post and click EDIT. Add the info there as text
    – Dave M
    Oct 4, 2013 at 13:51
  • Can you also edit into your question the output of iptables -L -n -v? Opening firewall ports does occasionally go wrong.
    – MadHatter
    Oct 4, 2013 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


Run the following from the system to see if any process is using port 21:

lsof -i:21

If there are processes, and they aren't your vsftpd service, then you'll need to turn them off to free up port 21 for vsftpd.

If there are processes for vsftpd, then you'll have to go down the network troubleshooting route (check routing, firewalls, etc).

If there are no processes, then vsftpd is never starting up on that port and there's a different problem. Check the log file (perhaps /var/log/messages by default) and consider trying to start the daemon in debug mode. Also note that port 21 is considered a privileged port, such that processes need to have root privileges to use it (at least initially).


If applicable, check that the port is opened on the router and forwarded to your server.

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