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How can I ensure that users can't login to the system except with FTP?

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closed as too localized by Chris Down, Mat, Renan, Ulrich Dangel, jasonwryan Aug 19 '12 at 4:45

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What Linux distribution? What FTP server? –  Mikel May 6 '12 at 15:57

2 Answers 2

Create users with the nologin shell.

Then they will be able to authenticate to the FTP server with their username and password, but they won't be able to ssh or telnet in.

For example on a Fedora or Red Hat system:

# useradd -s /sbin/nologin username
# passwd username
<type the password>
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Do not use FTP with "real" accounts! FTP sends all traffic ic clear text. –  vonbrand Jan 26 '13 at 3:03

There are a couple of approaches to this, depending on your needs.

One is to set the shell to something not a shell, as described in another answer.

Another is to use iptables to set up a firewall that disallows all but FTP access. If you want to make the server publicly accessible at all, I recommend this option, possibly in combination with the first. You will need to enable connection tracking for it to work properly with FTP.

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