Can't connect to vsftpd on port 21 when trying to establish FTP connection

us flag

I have installed vsftpd on my Linux Ubuntu 21.04 instance using the following:

sudo apt-get install vsftpd

I have enabled FTP in my ufw firewall using the following:

sudo ufw allow ftp

My /etc/vsftpd.conf file contains the following:

# Example config file /etc/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.
# Run standalone?  vsftpd can run either from an inetd or as a standalone
# daemon started from an initscript.
# This directive enables listening on IPv6 sockets. By default, listening
# on the IPv6 "any" address (::) will accept connections from both IPv6
# and IPv4 clients. It is not necessary to listen on *both* IPv4 and IPv6
# sockets. If you want that (perhaps because you want to listen on specific
# addresses) then you must run two copies of vsftpd with two configuration
# files.
# Allow anonymous FTP? (Disabled by default).
# 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.
# If enabled, vsftpd will display directory listings with the time
# in  your  local  time  zone.  The default is to display GMT. The
# times returned by the MDTM FTP command are also affected by this
# option.
# Activate logging of uploads/downloads.
# 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!
# You may override where the log file goes if you like. The default is shown
# below.
# If you want, you can have your log file in standard ftpd xferlog format.
# Note that the default log file location is /var/log/xferlog in this case.
# 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 restrict local users to their home directories.  See the FAQ for
# the possible risks in this before using chroot_local_user or
# chroot_list_enable below.
# 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().
# (Warning! chroot'ing can be very dangerous. If using chroot, make sure that
# the user does not have write access to the top level directory within the
# 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.
# Customization
# Some of vsftpd's settings don't fit the filesystem layout by
# default.
# This option should be the name of a directory which is empty.  Also, the
# directory should not be writable by the ftp user. This directory is used
# as a secure chroot() jail at times vsftpd does not require filesystem
# access.
# This string is the name of the PAM service vsftpd will use.
# This option specifies the location of the RSA certificate to use for SSL
# encrypted connections.

# Uncomment this to indicate that vsftpd use a utf8 filesystem.



I have added my intended user account ftpuser to /etc/vsftpd.user_list. The following is contained in the output of netstat -tanp:

tcp        0      0 *               LISTEN      939/docker-proxy
tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN      585614/vsftpd
tcp        0      0 *               LISTEN      582461/systemd-reso
tcp        0      0    *               LISTEN      581200/sshd: /usr/s

The above seems to indicate that vsftpd is listening on port 21 as it should be. However, I cannot connect to it using WinSCP on port 21 with the FTP protocol. However, what is strange is that I can connect on port 22 with the SFTP protocol.

I should also mention that I previously did have vsftpd installed and configured for SFTP. I did sudo apt-get purge vsftpd and have been trying to reinstall since.

Edit Even when I run ftp localhost I receive the error message : ftp: connect: Connection timed out

These are the steps I have now taken.

Install VSFTPD

sudo apt update
sudo apt install vsftpd
sudo service vsftpd status

Configure firewall

sudo ufw allow 20/tcp
sudo ufw allow 21/tcp
sudo ufw allow 40000:50000/tcp
sudo ufw allow 990/tcp
sudo ufw allow openssh
sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw status

Create ftpuser and directories

sudo adduser ftpuser
sudo mkdir /home/ftpuser/ftp
sudo chown nobody:nogroup /home/ftpuser/ftp
sudo chmod a-w /home/ftpuser/ftp
sudo mkdir /home/ftpuser/ftp/files
sudo chown ftpuser:ftpuser /home/ftpuser/ftp/files

Setup VSFTPD configuration

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

With the following entries



Restart the VSFTPD to have changes take effect

sudo systemctl restart vsftpd.service

Try connecting with Filezilla and WinSCP. Neither worked. However, just as previously, I was able to connect via SFTP on port 22.

What am I doing wrong?

us flag

I reinstalled Ubuntu 21.04 and followed the steps in this tutorial :, and it is working as expected.


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