Setting up an FTP Server on Linux RHEL 8

Setting up an FTP Server on Linux RHEL 8

In the realm of Linux server administration, setting up a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server is a common task that allows for the efficient exchange of files between computers on a network. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) provides a robust platform for configuring an FTP server, facilitating seamless file transfers within your network. This article will guide you through the process of setting up an FTP server on Linux RHEL 8, ensuring a smooth and secure file-sharing experience.

Step 1: Installing vsftpd (Very Secure FTP Daemon)

The first step is to install the vsftpd package, which is a lightweight and secure FTP server for Linux. Open your terminal and use the following command to install vsftpd:

sudo dnf install vsftpd

This command will prompt you to confirm the installation. Type 'y' and press Enter to proceed.

Step 2: Start and Enable vsftpd Service

After the installation is complete, start the vsftpd service and enable it to start at boot. Execute the following commands:

sudo systemctl start vsftpd
sudo systemctl enable vsftpd

These commands initiate the vsftpd service and configure it to start automatically when the system boots up.

Step 3: Allowing FTP Service through Firewall

By default, the firewall on RHEL 8 may block FTP traffic. To allow FTP traffic, add the necessary rule using the firewall-cmd command:

sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=ftp
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

This ensures that the firewall permits FTP connections.

Step 4: Creating an FTP User

To enhance security, create a dedicated user for FTP access. Replace 'ftpuser' with your desired username:

sudo useradd -m ftpuser
sudo passwd ftpuser

Set a password for the FTP user when prompted.

Step 5: Configuring vsftpd

Edit the vsftpd configuration file to customize the server settings:

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf

Update the file according to your preferences. For example, you can enable or disable anonymous login, chroot users, and specify the FTP user:


Save the changes and exit the editor.

Step 6: Restart vsftpd Service

To apply the changes made to the vsftpd configuration, restart the vsftpd service:

sudo systemctl restart vsftpd

Step 7: Testing the FTP Server

Use an FTP client like FileZilla to connect to your server. Enter the server's IP address, FTP username, and password. If all configurations are correct, you should successfully connect to the FTP server.

More Examples:

  • Limiting User Access: You can restrict users to specific directories by configuring the vsftpd.conf file. Explore the 'chroot_local_user' and 'local_root' options for this purpose.

  • TLS/SSL Encryption: For enhanced security, consider configuring vsftpd to use TLS/SSL encryption. This involves generating SSL certificates and updating the vsftpd.conf file accordingly.

  • Monitoring FTP Logs: Check the vsftpd logs located at /var/log/vsftpd.log for troubleshooting and monitoring purposes.

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