Setting Up ProFTPd + TLS On Debian Lenny

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Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Tue, 2009-07-28 16:33. :: Debian | FTP

Setting Up ProFTPd + TLS On Debian Lenny

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
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Last edited 05/25/2009

FTP is a very insecure protocol because all passwords and all data are transferred in clear text. By using TLS, the whole communication can be encrypted, thus making FTP much more secure. This article explains how to set up ProFTPd with TLS on a Debian Lenny server.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address 192.168.0.100. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

 

2 Installing ProFTPd And OpenSSL

OpenSSL is needed by TLS; to install ProFTPd and OpenSSL, we simply run:

aptitude install proftpd openssl

You will be asked a question:

Run proftpd: <-- standalone

For security reasons you can add the following lines to /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf (thanks to Reinaldo Carvalho; more information can be found here: http://proftpd.org/localsite/Userguide/linked/userguide.html):

vi /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

[...]
DefaultRoot ~
IdentLookups off
ServerIdent on "FTP Server ready."
[...]

 

3 Creating The SSL Certificate For TLS

In order to use TLS, we must create an SSL certificate. I create it in /etc/proftpd/ssl, therefore I create that directory first:

mkdir /etc/proftpd/ssl

Afterwards, we can generate the SSL certificate as follows:

openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out /etc/proftpd/ssl/proftpd.cert.pem -keyout /etc/proftpd/ssl/proftpd.key.pem

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]: <-- Enter your Country Name (e.g., "DE").
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:
<-- Enter your State or Province Name.
Locality Name (eg, city) []:
<-- Enter your City.
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
<-- Enter your Organization Name (e.g., the name of your company).
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
<-- Enter your Organizational Unit Name (e.g. "IT Department").
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:
<-- Enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name of the system (e.g. "server1.example.com").
Email Address []:
<-- Enter your Email Address.

 

4 Enabling TLS In ProFTPd

In order to enable TLS in ProFTPd, open /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf...

vi /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

... and uncomment the Include /etc/proftpd/tls.conf line:

[...]
#
# This is used for FTPS connections
#
Include /etc/proftpd/tls.conf
[...]

Then open /etc/proftpd/tls.conf and make it look as follows:

cp /etc/proftpd/tls.conf /etc/proftpd/tls.conf_orig
cat /dev/null > /etc/proftpd/tls.conf
vi /etc/proftpd/tls.conf

<IfModule mod_tls.c>
TLSEngine                  on
TLSLog                     /var/log/proftpd/tls.log
TLSProtocol                SSLv23
TLSOptions                 NoCertRequest
TLSRSACertificateFile      /etc/proftpd/ssl/proftpd.cert.pem
TLSRSACertificateKeyFile   /etc/proftpd/ssl/proftpd.key.pem
TLSVerifyClient            off
TLSRequired                on
</IfModule>

If you use TLSRequired on, then only TLS connections are allowed (this locks out any users with old FTP clients that don't have TLS support); by commenting out that line or using TLSRequired off both TLS and non-TLS connections are allowed, depending on what the FTP client supports.

Restart ProFTPd afterwards:

/etc/init.d/proftpd restart

That's it. You can now try to connect using your FTP client; however, you should configure your FTP client to use TLS (this is a must if you use TLSRequired on) - see the next chapter how to do this with FileZilla.

If you're having problems with TLS, you can take a look at the TLS log file /var/log/proftpd/tls.log.

 

5 Configuring FileZilla For TLS

In order to use FTP with TLS, you need an FTP client that supports TLS, such as FileZilla.

In FileZilla, open the Server Manager:

Select the server that uses ProFTPd with TLS; in the Server Type drop-down menu, select FTPES instead of normal FTP:

Now you can connect to the server. If you do this for the first time, you must accept the server's new SSL certificate:

If everything goes well, you should now be logged in on the server:

 

6 Links


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Comments will be published after administrator approval.
Submitted by Volkan (not registered) on Thu, 2010-04-15 20:05.

Hi

I follow the tutorial, and it works fine. However when I try to use a certificate from GoDaddy, it doesn't work properly, still didn't recognize the certificate.

I use this setting:

<IfModule mod_tls.c>
TLSEngine                  on
TLSLog                     /var/log/proftpd/tls.log
TLSProtocol                SSLv23
TLSOptions                 NoCertRequest
# Are clients required to use FTP over TLS when talking to this server?
TLSRequired                on

# Server's certificate
TLSRSACertificateFile       /etc/proftpd/ssl/server.crt
TLSRSACertificateKeyFile    /etc/proftpd/ssl/server.key
TLSCACertificatePath        /etc/proftpd/ca/

# Authenticate clients that want to use FTP over TLS?
TLSVerifyClient            off
</IfModule>

Could some body tell me what I made wrong.

The cerfiticate is signed by GoDaddy.

Submitted by Josh (not registered) on Wed, 2010-01-20 06:35.

An update.  I was getting this error message whenever I tried to connect from the internet.  I could connect via lan fine.

"Server sent passive reply with unroutable address. Using server address instead."

You have to set the PassivePorts directive in proftpd.conf, forward the same ports on your router and also configure to use the same ports in your ftp program.

Example (add this to proftpd.conf):

PassivePorts             6000 7000

Forward ports 6000-7000 in your router to your server.

Configure your ftp client to use passive ports 6000-7000.

Josh

Submitted by Josh (not registered) on Tue, 2010-01-19 20:16.

Great article! Followed your instructions and had TLS up and running in 10 minutes! Configured on Fedora 10 and worked great.

Josh
Rocky Mountain Computer
http://www.rockymountaincomputers.com