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Installing ftp server on an ubuntu ec2 instance




So we recently had this requirement to give ftp access to a third party client on our staging server. They did not want the hassle of sshing in and making changes or committing changes to git and then making the changes live. Now, installing an ftp with a username-password access might seem like a daunting task initially, but here is how I managed to do it.

Step 1 : Installing vsftpd server

vsftpd ( very secure ftp daemon ) is one of the popular ftp servers out there. After logging in to the ec2 instance, the following command will install vsftpd

sudo apt-get install vsftpd

Step 2 : Make the following changes to the vsftpd conf file 

The configuration file can be opened up for editing at

sudo vim /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf

And change/add the following flags:

pasv_address=[public dns from the amazon EC2 instance]

After doing the above, we need to boost up or daemon again.

sudo service vsftpd restart

Step 3 : Opening up port from the ec2 dashboard

Hop on to, login and go to your ec2 dashboard. Over there, for our particular instance, check the security group that it is a part of. Then hop on to that security group section and edit the rules of that particular security group as follows :

EC2 Management Console

Notice that I’ve added the “All TCP” rule which will open up a range of ports for connection. Also note that we did not have a very strict security requirement, but if you are looking for that, then I would recommend opening up selective ports only.

Step 4 : Create a user and make him owner of the root directory

In the ec2 instance console, just add a new user by

sudo adduser ftpuser

It will prompt you to enter details including the password. After we are done with that, we need to make this user the owner of the directory which we want him to be able to read/write. In my case it was the document root for apache, hence the following command :

sudo chown -R ftpuser:ftpuser /var/www/html/

Yep, that’s about it. To login via FileZilla, the host needs to be the public dns of the ec2 instance; username and passswords will be the same as that of the newly created user. I took help from the following posts as a reference :