I have created a FTPS server using vsftpd.

When I use an unencrypted private key, vsftpd works fine.


If I have to use a certificate that contains an encrypted private key, vsftpd fails to start.

vsftpd[42062]: 500 OOPS: SSL: cannot load RSA certificate

Encrypted private key:


Is there a way to use encrypted private key in vsftpd?

vsftpd version: 3.0.2

1 Answer 1


After researching/googling/testing, i was able to find that vsftpd does not have option to provide the passphrase for encrypted private key.

Options to overcome this limitation are:

  • Use unencrypted private key
  • Use encrypted private key and run the vsftpd from command line. Running vsftpd from command line will prompt for passphrase which should be entered manually every time.
  • Use encrypted private key and implement a expect script to provide password and implement a new systemd configuration instead of the standard vsftpd systemd configuration.

Already this has been raised in the bugzilla.

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