Rackspace Cloud Essentials - Configure a user in vsftpd for CentOS

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This article describes how to create system users in vstfpd and
chroot them (isolate or "jail" them to their home directory) if necessary.

Add a system user

Create a new user for FTP access in vsftpd by creating a new valid Linux system
user with the following commands:

useradd test
passwd test

Disable SSH access for FTP users

The default user creation script gives a user the /bin/bash shell,
which can be a little too powerful. If you don't want your users
to log in to your server via SSH, you can block this access. When you
change the shell to /bin/false, the users can log in only
via FTP or mail if you have that set up.

Modify the user access with the following command:

usermod -s /sbin/nologin test

Chroot a user

Now you can configure vsftpd to be able to chroot (commonly referred to as
jailing) users to their home directories for security and privacy. When you
chroot users, they can’t move up a level in the directory structure after they
log in.

With vsftpd, you can chroot a user by editing the following in the
file /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf:


You must create a vsftp.chroot_list file and enter users who do not
use chroot. Every user uses chroot by default. Therefore, create a chroot_list file,
even if the file is going to remain empty:

touch /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.chroot_list

After the file is created and you have set up your chroot_list, restart vsftpd with the following command:

service vsftpd restart