Ubuntu – vsFTPd stopped working after update


I have just updated to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) from Ubuntu Server 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot).

It updated my vsFTPd installation, and it seems that something has changed :/ I use PAM authentication. What could have changed to cause this?

When trying to connect to the FTP server I get this error:

500 OOPS: vsftpd: refusing to run with writable root inside chroot()

I tried googling it, and it said to add allow_writable_root=YES to the configuration file – however when I try this and try restarting vsftpd it can't restart. Why?

Here is how I actually fixed it:

wget http://http.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/v/vsftpd/vsftpd_3.0.2-3_amd64.deb -O vsftpd.deb
dpkg -i vsftpd.deb
echo "allow_writeable_chroot=YES" >> /etc/vsftpd.conf
service vsftpd reload

And voila 🙂

Best Answer

I have this issue as well and think it's because of the new vsFTPd update to enhance security, so in the meantime I use this solution.

  1. I chmod the folder that my FTP user comes in to as he/she first login (root folder) by using this in the terminal: sudo chmod a-w /home/user

    You can change /home/user to whatever is your FTP user's root folder.

  2. Create a subfolder within the folder, either by the use of GUI, or if you only have a terminal, it's: sudo mkdir /home/user/newfolder

Now you should be able to log in and read write within the "newfolder". You will NOT be able to write in the root folder itself from the FTP client with the chmod a-w, so that is the reason for the subfolder, and there you can.

I guess there will be a fix in a not-so-long time, but in the meantime I hope this helps.