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How To Install FTP Server on Debian 12

Install FTP Server on Debian 12

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install FTP Server on Debian 12. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) servers play a crucial role in the seamless transfer of files between clients and servers.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the FTP Server on a Debian 12 (Bookworm).


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 12 (Bookworm).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • An active internet connection. You’ll need an internet connection to download the necessary packages and dependencies for FTP Server.
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install FTP Server on Debian 12 Bookworm

Step 1. 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
sudo apt upgrade

This command will refresh the repository, allowing you to install the latest versions of software packages.

Step 2. Selecting FTP Server Software

Choosing the right FTP server software is vital for optimal performance and security. Let’s examine the popular options available for Debian 12 and determine the best fit for your needs.

  1. ProFTPD:
    • Long sentences tend to establish authority and expertise while conveying complex information. ProFTPD is a highly configurable and feature-rich FTP server, offering excellent performance and robust security.
  2. vsftpd:
    • Short sentences create a crisp and clear tone, ideal for conveying simple concepts. vsftpd, also known as “Very Secure FTP Daemon,” lives up to its name by focusing on security and minimalism. It is known for its ease of use and high performance.
  3. Pure-FTPd:

    • Utilizing uncommon terminology adds a unique touch to the content. Pure-FTPd boasts a clean codebase and provides several authentication methods, making it suitable for diverse user environments.

Based on your specific requirements, select the FTP server that aligns best with your needs.

Step 3. Installing FTP Server on Debian 12.

With the FTP server software chosen, it’s time to proceed with the installation. Execute the appropriate command to install your preferred FTP server.

  • For ProFTPD:
sudo apt install proftpd
  • For vsftpd:
sudo apt install vsftpd
  • For Pure-FTPd:
sudo apt install pure-ftpd

Step 4. Configuring the FTP Server.

Now that the FTP server is installed, it’s crucial to configure it properly. The proper configuration ensures security and efficiency. We’ll focus on ProFTPD’s configuration, but the general principles apply to other FTP servers as well.

sudo nano /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

Enforce TLS encryption for secure data transmission:

<IfModule mod_tls.c>
TLSEngine on
TLSLog /var/log/proftpd/tls.log
TLSProtocol TLSv1.2
TLSRSACertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/your_certificate.crt
TLSRSACertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/your_private_key.key

Limit user access to their home directories:

DefaultRoot ~

Enable passive mode for FTP connections:

PassivePorts 49152 65534

Remember to save the changes and restart the FTP server to apply the configurations:

sudo systemctl restart proftpd

Step 5. Creating FTP Users and Directories.

To facilitate file transfer, you need to create user accounts and directories. This ensures proper access control and security.

Create a new user for FTP access:

sudo useradd -m -s /bin/bash ftpuser

Set a password for the new user:

sudo passwd ftpuser

Create directories for uploading and downloading files:

sudo mkdir /home/ftpuser/upload
sudo mkdir /home/ftpuser/download

Set the appropriate permissions:

sudo chown -R ftpuser:ftpuser /home/ftpuser
sudo chmod 755 /home/ftpuser/upload
sudo chmod 755 /home/ftpuser/download

Step 6. Testing the FTP Server.

After configuring the FTP server, it’s essential to perform tests to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Let’s cover some basic tests:

  • Test the FTP server locally:

Open a terminal on the FTP server and execute the following command to connect to the server:

$ ftp localhost

Enter your FTP username and password when prompted. Use FTP commands such as “ls,” “cd,” and “put” to navigate and transfer files.

  • Test the FTP server remotely:

On a remote machine, open a terminal and execute the following command to connect to the FTP server:

$ ftp server_ip_address

Replace “server_ip_address” with the actual IP address of the FTP server. Enter your FTP username and password when prompted. Use FTP commands to interact with the server.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed FTP Server. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the latest version of FTP Server on Debian 12 Bookworm. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official ProFTPD website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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