Virtual Hosting With PureFTPd And MySQL (Incl. Quota And Bandwidth Management) On Ubuntu 14.04LTS - Page 2


6 Populate The Database And Test

To populate the database you can use the MySQL shell:

mysql -u root -p

USE pureftpd;

Now we create the user exampleuser with the status 1 (which means his ftp account is active), the password secret (which will be stored encrypted using MySQL's MD5 function), the UID and GID 2001 (use the userid and groupid of the user/group you created at the end of step two!), the home directory /home/, an upload and download bandwidth of 100 KB/sec. (kilobytes per second), and a quota of 50 MB:

INSERT INTO `ftpd` (`User`, `status`, `Password`, `Uid`, `Gid`, `Dir`, `ULBandwidth`, `DLBandwidth`, `comment`, `ipaccess`, `QuotaSize`, `QuotaFiles`) VALUES ('exampleuser', '1', MD5('secret'), '2001', '2001', '/home/', '100', '100', '', '*', '50', '0');


Now open your FTP client program on your work station (something like FileZilla, WS_FTP, SmartFTP or gFTP) and try to connect. As hostname you use (or the IP address of the system), the username is exampleuser, and the password is secret.

If you are able to connect - congratulations! If not, something went wrong.

Now, if you run

ls -l /home

you should see that the directory /home/ (exampleuser's home directory) has been automatically created, and it is owned by ftpuser and ftpgroup (the user/group we created at the end of step two):

[email protected]:~# ls -l /home/
total 4
drwxr-xr-x 2 ftpuser ftpgroup 4096 Apr 29 08:10
[email protected]:~# 


7 Database Administration

For most people it is easier if they have a graphical front-end to MySQL; therefore you can also use phpMyAdmin (in this example under to administrate the pureftpd database.

Whenever you want to create a new user, you have to create an entry in the table ftpd so I will explain the columns of this table here:

ftpd Table:

  • User: The name of the virtual PureFTPd user (e.g. exampleuser).
  • status: 0 or 1. 0 means the account is disabled, the user cannot login.
  • Password: The password of the virtual user. Make sure you use MySQL's MD5 function to save the password encrypted as an MD5 string:

  • UID: The userid of the ftp user you created at the end of step two (e.g. 2001).
  • GID: The groupid of the ftp group you created at the end of step two (e.g. 2001).
  • Dir: The home directory of the virtual PureFTPd user (e.g. /home/ If it does not exist, it will be created when the new user logs in the first time via FTP. The virtual user will be jailed into this home directory, i.e., he cannot access other directories outside his home directory.
  • ULBandwidth: Upload bandwidth of the virtual user in KB/sec. (kilobytes per second). 0 means unlimited.
  • DLBandwidth: Download bandwidth of the virtual user in KB/sec. (kilobytes per second). 0 means unlimited.
  • comment: You can enter any comment here (e.g. for your internal administration) here. Normally you leave this field empty.
  • ipaccess: Enter IP addresses here that are allowed to connect to this FTP account. * means any IP address is allowed to connect.
  • QuotaSize: Storage space in MB (not KB, as in ULBandwidth and DLBandwidth!) the virtual user is allowed to use on the FTP server. 0 means unlimited.
  • QuotaFiles: amount of files the virtual user is allowed to save on the FTP server. 0 means unlimited.


8 Anonymous FTP

If you want to create an anonymous ftp account (an ftp account that everybody can login to without a password), you can do it like this:

First create a user ftp (with the homedir /home/ftp) and group ftp:

groupadd ftp
useradd -s /bin/false -d /home/ftp -m -c "anonymous ftp" -g ftp ftp

Then create the file /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/NoAnonymous which contains the string no:

echo "no" > /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/NoAnonymous

With this configuration, PureFTPd will allow anonymous logins.

Restart PureFTPd:

service pure-ftpd-mysql restart

Then we create the directory /home/ftp/incoming which will allow anonymous users to upload files. We will give the /home/ftp/incoming directory permissions of 311 so that users can upload, but not see or download any files in that directory. The /home/ftp directory will have permissions of 555 which allows seeing and downloading of files:

cd /home/ftp
mkdir incoming
chown ftp:nogroup incoming/
chmod 311 incoming/
cd ../
chmod 555 ftp/

Now anonymous users can login, and they can download files from /home/ftp, but uploads are limited to /home/ftp/incoming (and once a file is uploaded into /home/ftp/incoming, it cannot be read nor downloaded from there; the server admin has to move it into /home/ftp first to make it available to others).


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Love this tutorial. Nice and simple. I tried ISPConfig, but it's overkill for my needs. This works great. As much as I would like to have a web control panel for users and groups and adding web servers, this method works. Maybe ISPConfig can come up with a basic Panel for just adding and subtracting users and sites from a single IP web server.

 My configuration is a VirtualBox running Ubuntu with of course this tutorial set up. The Virtual Box runs on a Mac Mini under my telly. I have pointing my FQDN and it seems all I need do to a domain not associated with my account is point the DNS records of the domain to my home server. It worked when I tested out the ISPConfig just fine. 

 Great job. These tutorials are fine examples and well written. 



> Maybe ISPConfig can come up with a basic Panel for just adding and subtracting users and sites from a single IP web Server.

ISPConfig is already that as ist completely modular, so you dont have to use all modules that were installed in the perfect Server guides. The Setup described above is very similar to what ispconfig uses for the mail module, just that ispconfig adds autoresponders and mail filters which the above Setup cant handle.

Take the ispconfig perfect Server guide and leave out the dns, ftp and jailkit parts and then run the ispcofig installer in expert mode and choose the ispconfig modules that you want to configure. In the example above thats just the mail and web module to install the ispconfig ispconfig Interface.

ISPConfig can be used from small serves that host just a Company or private site up to multiserver Systems consisting of hundred or more Servers.