I'm setting up and FTP server, and I want to be able to login myself and do whatever I want, but if I want others to connect to my server, I give them credentials that restrict them to the home directory. I've created the user with:

adduser username
passwd username
mkdir /home/user_dir
usermod -d /home/user_dir

I then enabled chroot_local_user=YES and chroot_list_enable, created a file and put my username in it so that I still have access to the entire machine.

If I ftp as myself, I can login and do whatever I want, but I can't login as this new user. (I get 530 Login Incorrect).


Linux Mint

Using vsftpd

I can login to a shell as the new user (su newUser... password)

Also - if I remove myself from the chroot list, I get the 500 OOPS refusing to run with writeable root inside chroot. I'm assuming this error will be the same with the new user, how do I give them restricted access if I get this error when restricting their access? Fixed - forgot about writeable chroot

  • What FTP server are you using and what's your OS? Did you try to login to a shell with this user? Jan 16, 2017 at 15:22
  • Edited the original post with more info Jan 16, 2017 at 15:25
  • Don't just try a simple su like that, try to login to a shell to see if the user is blocked by something else. Jan 16, 2017 at 15:27
  • I thought that's what su did? How do I do a proper login? The user is not there at boot, so something must be missing Jan 16, 2017 at 15:35
  • What do you mean that the user is not there at boot? Jan 16, 2017 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Look at your /etc/passwd file Find your user and look shell (example ttr:x:501:501::/home/username/ttr:/sbin/nologin) Add this shell (/bin/false or /sbin/nologin) to your /etc/shell or /etc/shells After that, check your connection

Try again...If it still does not work

Back up the config file before making a change;

sudo cp /etc/vsftpd.conf /etc/vsftpd.conf.back

and then edit vsftpd.conf (with vi or nano)

nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Then make the following change


Save your change and restart the ftp server (if you use nano hit CTRL+O & enter to save then CTRL+X to exit)

sudo service vsftpd restart
  • I built a system to OPs definition, and this was the only thing that worked. I have deleted my answer and upvoted this one instead.
    – Cyclic3
    Jan 16, 2017 at 16:13
  • Thanks! I initially misread your post and was suggesting you use SFTP, but glad I corrected myself
    – ddlingo
    Jan 16, 2017 at 17:34
  • askubuntu.com/questions/617370/… says setting pam_service_name to ftp is wrong. You could even set it to funnystuff having the same effect.
    – robsch
    Nov 6, 2019 at 14:53

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