I have multiple users on a server. They upload and download their files through FTP. Sometimes some heavy transfer causes high load on the server. I am wondering, if there is any way to limit the ftp speed to avoid high load.

Any help would be much appreciated.

  • 1
    Some FTP servers have builtin support for that. Which is yours? Is CPU, network bandwith or disk access bandwidth the issue here? You could also nice and ionice -c 3 your FTP server. Sep 18, 2012 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


The keyword is bandwidth management and the Linux Kernel has direct support of it. I dealed with this long time ago and have forgotten much about that but there is a great online book that covers the topic extensively. It's called

To get a foretaste of what you want to achieve take a look at

Perhaps there are (software) servers which support bandwidth control directly!?



I found a way to limit ftp speed:

In the /etc/proftpd.conf insert this line:

TransferRate RETR,STOR,APPE,STOU 2000 

This will limit ftp speed to 2 megabyte per second.

After changing the file you should restart the proftpd service:

/etc/init.d/proftpd restart
  • 2
    I know this is old but hopefully it helps anyone who finds it. The answer above is 100% correct, but can be slightly misleading. Be aware of this when using this directive. Online Manual Page From proftpd's configuration directives document page, in the Description section. > Note that this limit only applies to a single connection, and not to the overall transfer rate of the server.
    – MPH426
    Nov 2, 2016 at 13:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.