Install FTP Server on Debian 10 - A step by step guide ?

FTP stands for "file transfer protocol", and it allows you to transfer files to a remote computer. The most common FTP server software for Ubuntu is the vsftpd package, which stands for "very secure FTP daemon". It's the default FTP package for Ubuntu, and most other Linux distributions as well.

Here at LinuxAPT, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to perform related FTP queries.

In this context, we shall look into how to install FTP Server on Debian 10.

Steps to Install and Configure FTP Server on Debian 10 Buster

1. Perform system update

Before we install any software, it's important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

$ sudo apt update

2. Install  the FTP server on the system

The vsftpd package is available in the Debian repositories. Let's start by updating our package list and installing the vsftpd daemon:

$ sudo apt install vsftpd

Once the installation is completed, you can check the version of vsftpd package by running the following command in Terminal:

$ sudo systemctl status vsftpd

3. Configure the FTP server

Now we will perform some configurations required for setting up the FTP server in our Debian OS:

$ sudo cp /etc/vsftpd.conf /etc/vsftpd.conf.bak
$ sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Add/modify the following options with these values:


With the configuration file saved, restart vsftpd apply the new changes:

$ sudo systemctl restart vsftpd

4. Configure Firewall

To open port 21 (FTP command port), port 20 (FTP data port) and 30000-31000 (Passive ports range), run the following commands:

$ sudo ufw allow 20:21/tcp
$ sudo ufw allow 30000:31000/tcp

Reload the UFW rules by disabling and re-enabling UFW:

$ sudo ufw disable
$ sudo ufw enable

5. Create FTP User

We will now create a new user that we will use to log into FTP. In this example, we will create a new user called chedelics:

$ sudo useradd -m chedelics
$ sudo passwd radiks
New password: 
Retype new password: 
passwd: password updated successfully

In order to verify that everything's working properly, you should store at least one file in chedelics's home directory. This file should be visible when we log in to FTP in the next steps:

$ sudo bash -c "echo FTP TESTING > /home/ftpuser/FTP-TEST"

How to test the FTP server on the system ?

To test the FTP connection, you will need to install an FTP client in the same or a separate system from where you want to access the FTP server. In our case, we are using FileZilla as an FTP client.

Alternatively, Run the following command in the Terminal to install FileZilla.

$ sudo apt-get install filezilla

Once the installation is completed, open FileZilla either using the Terminal or from the Dash menu. when opened, enter required information like hostname/IP address, user name, and password and click the Quickconnect button.

Verify the certificate and click OK to connect to the FTP server.

You will be successfully logged in to the FTP server and able to available access files and directories of the remote server.

[Need assistance in configuring FTP on your Linux system ? We can help you. ]

This article covers the complete process of installing FTP Server on your Debian 10 Buster system. In fact, VSFTPD is used as an FTP server. VSFTPD stands for Very Secure FTP Daemon that is licensed under the GNU General Public License. FTP, short for File Transfer Protocol, is a common network protocol that can be used to upload and download files depending upon the permissions the user is assigned. 

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