Virtual Hosting With PureFTPd And MySQL (Incl. Quota And Bandwidth Management)
Author: Falko Timme
Last edited 10/22/2005
This document describes how to install a PureFTPd server that uses virtual users from a MySQL database instead of real system users. This is much more performant and allows to have thousands of ftp users on a single machine. In addition to that I will show the use of quota and upload/download bandwidth limits with this setup. Passwords will be stored encrypted as MD5 strings in the database.
For the administration of the MySQL database you can use web based tools like phpMyAdmin which will also be installed in this howto. phpMyAdmin is a comfortable graphical interface which means you do not have to mess around with the command line.
This tutorial is based on Debian Sarge (Debian 3.1). You should already have set up a basic Debian system, as described here: http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect_setup_debian_sarge and http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect_setup_debian_sarge_p2 . It should apply to other Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu , Knoppix , etc. without modifications. On other distributions like SuSE , Fedora , Mandriva , etc. only the PureFTPd installation is different; the configuration of PureFTPd should apply to these distributions as well.
This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.
This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!
1 Install MySQL And phpMyAdmin
This can all be installed with one single command:
apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient12-dev phpmyadmin
You will be asked a few questions:
Enable suExec? <-- Yes
Configuring mysql-server (Install Hints) <-- OK
Which web server would you like to reconfigure automatically? <-- apache, apache2
Do you want me to restart apache now? <-- Yes
Create a password for the MySQL user root (replace yourrootsqlpassword with the password you want to use):
mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword
2 Install PureFTPd With MySQL Support
For Debian there is a pre-configured pure-ftpd-mysql package available. Install it as a standalone daemon like this:
apt-get install pure-ftpd-mysql
Run pure-ftpd from inetd or as a standalone server? <-- standalone
Do you want pure-ftpwho to be installed setuid root? <-- No
Then we create an ftp group ("ftpgroup") and user ("ftpuser") that all our virtual users will be mapped to. Replace the group- and userid 2001 with a number that is free on your system:
groupadd -g 2001 ftpgroup
useradd -u 2001 -s /bin/false -d /bin/null -c "pureftpd user" -g ftpgroup ftpuser
3 Create The MySQL Database For PureFTPd
Now we create a database called pureftpd and a MySQL user named pureftpd which the PureFTPd daemon will use later on to connect to the pureftpd database:
mysql -u root -p
CREATE DATABASE pureftpd;
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP ON pureftpd.* TO 'pureftpd'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'ftpdpass';
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP ON pureftpd.* TO 'pureftpd'@'localhost.localdomain' IDENTIFIED BY 'ftpdpass';
Replace the string ftpdpass with whatever password you want to use for the MySQL user pureftpd. Still on the MySQL shell, we create the database table we need (yes, there is only one table!):
CREATE TABLE ftpd (
User varchar(16) NOT NULL default '',
status enum('0','1') NOT NULL default '0',
Password varchar(64) NOT NULL default '',
Uid varchar(11) NOT NULL default '-1',
Gid varchar(11) NOT NULL default '-1',
Dir varchar(128) NOT NULL default '',
ULBandwidth smallint(5) NOT NULL default '0',
DLBandwidth smallint(5) NOT NULL default '0',
comment tinytext NOT NULL,
ipaccess varchar(15) NOT NULL default '*',
QuotaSize smallint(5) NOT NULL default '0',
QuotaFiles int(11) NOT NULL default 0,
PRIMARY KEY (User),
UNIQUE KEY User (User)
As you may have noticed, with the quit; command we have left the MySQL shell and are back on the Linux shell.
BTW, (I'm suggesting that the hostname of your ftp server system is server1.example.com) you can access phpMyAdmin over http://server1.example.com/phpmyadmin/ (you can also use the IP address instead of server1.example.com) in a browser and log in as pureftpd. Then you can have a look at the database. Later on you can use phpMyAdmin to administrate your PureFTPd server.