There is a new version of this tutorial available for CentOS 7.2.

Virtual Hosting With PureFTPd And MySQL (Incl. Quota And Bandwidth Management) On CentOS 5.3

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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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 CentOS 5.3. You should already have set up a basic CentOS 5.3 system, for example as described in the first six chapters of this tutorial:

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 Preliminary Note

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


2 Install MySQL And Apache/PHP

We can install MySQL and Apache/PHP (Apache and PHP are needed by phpMyAdmin) with a single command:

yum install mysql mysql-server httpd php php-mysql php-mbstring

Then we create the system startup links for MySQL and Apache (so that both start automatically whenever the system boots) and start both services:

chkconfig --levels 235 mysqld on
/etc/init.d/mysqld start
chkconfig --levels 235 httpd on
/etc/init.d/httpd start

Create a password for the MySQL user root (replace yourrootsqlpassword with the password you want to use):

mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword
mysqladmin -h -u root password yourrootsqlpassword


3 Install phpMyAdmin

Unfortunately there's no phpMyAdmin package in the official CentOS 5.3 repositories, but I've found a phpMyAdmin package for CentOS 4.x in the repository which works on CentOS 5.3 as well. We can install it like this:

rpm -ivh

Afterwards, you should be able to access phpMyAdmin in a browser under this address: (you can also use the IP address instead of

If you find that your phpMyAdmin is missing lots of images and has problems loading, open the file /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/ and comment out the $cfg['PmaAbsoluteUri'] line:

vi /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/
#$cfg['PmaAbsoluteUri'] = '';

Afterwards, phpMyAdmin should work as expected.


4 Install PureFTPd With MySQL Support

Again, there's no PureFTPd package in the official CentOS 5.3 repositories, but the repository has a PureFTPd package for CentOS 5.3 (in the kbs-CentOS-Testing repository). Therefore we add this repository to our official CentOS repositories:

cd /etc/yum.repos.d/

Now we must enable the kbs-CentOS-Testing repository. To do this, we open the file kbsingh-CentOS-Extras.repo and change enabled=0 to enabled=1 in the kbs-CentOS-Testing stanza; also change gpgcheck=1 to gpgcheck=0:

vi kbsingh-CentOS-Extras.repo
name=CentOS.Karan.Org-EL$releasever - Testing

Then we import the GPG key of our new repository:

rpm --import

Now we can install PureFTPd:

yum install pure-ftpd

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


5 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
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!):

USE pureftpd;
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,
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 assuming that the hostname of your ftp server system is you can access phpMyAdmin under (you can also use the IP address instead of in a browser and log in as the user pureftpd. Then you can have a look at the database. Later on you can use phpMyAdmin to administrate your PureFTPd server.

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