Proftpd.conf Setting Changes Not Being Recognized

Problems with the Linux version of XAMPP, questions, comments, and anything related.

Proftpd.conf Setting Changes Not Being Recognized

Postby djpeterson » 27. January 2008 15:40

I have been having a problem with Proftpd recognizing any settings I am changing in proftpd.conf. I have spent quite a few hours over quite a few days reading documentation and forums with no further success in testing.

The first example is changing "umask 022" to "umask 026 027". All files and folders still get created from a umask of 022, meaning files show up with permissions of 644 and directories have permissions of 755.

The second thing I was trying to do was to block root access. Whether I set "RootLogin off" or "UseFtpUsers on" root can still log in. I did verify that root was in /etc/ftpusers.

The last one is changing DefaultRoot. Whether I set it to "DefaultRoot ~", "DefaultRoot /home/%u" or "DefaultRoot /opt/lampp/htdocs" it has no impact. Although the first two are setting the root directory to the user's home directory the third is not resulting in any change to that. The user is still showing up logged into the home directory. What was more important for me was to restrict the root directory (chroot) to the user's home directory. In all three cases, I could navigate away from the user directory.

I checked that the syntax in the proftpd.conf was fine with proftpd -t. It came out OK. I made sure it was using the config file I thought it was by using proftpd -c /opt/lampp/etc/proftpd.conf. Doing a proftpd -V showed it was using that conf file location anyway but I wanted to be sure. I checked the requirements of each directive and that they were compiled in modules with proftpd -l. These were typically mod_core or mod_auth.

I also tried starting proftpd from the command line using proftpd -nd9 to provide debug information. It did look like it was examining each of the directives in the configuration file. There were no obvious errors.

For background, I am running a reasonably current Debian Sarge distribution on my server. The version of Xampp I am running is 1.6.1 which has ProFTPD 1.3.0a. I also tried taking ProFTPD 1.3.1 out of Xampp 1.6.5. It ran the same.

I am using Filezilla as the ftp client from a Windows PC. I am running iptables as a firewall and am blocking port 21. The client is then set up as SFTP using SSH2.

Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide. I am not sure what else to read or test.

Doug Peterson
Posts: 4
Joined: 27. January 2008 15:08

Proftpd.conf Setting Changes Not Being Recognized

Postby djpeterson » 28. January 2008 08:14

I did find something else to read, Wikipedia oddly enough. It would appear that the insight I needed was that I had a gross misunderstanding of acronyms, or at least implied ones.

From Wikipedia article on File Transfer Protocol:

FTP over SSH
FTP over SSH refers to the practice of tunneling a normal FTP session over an SSH connection.
[lines deleted]
FTP over SSH is sometimes referred to as secure FTP; this should not be confused with other methods of securing FTP, such as with SSL/TLS (FTPS). Other methods of transferring files using SSH that are not related to FTP include SFTP and SCP; in each of these, the entire conversation (credentials and data) is always protected by the SSH protocol.

From Wikipedia article on SSH file transfer protocol:

A common misconception is that SFTP is simply FTP run over SSH; in fact it is a new protocol designed from the ground up by the IETF SECSH working group. It is sometimes confused with Simple File Transfer Protocol.

So much for thinking I was tunneling FTP over SSH and that is what SFTP meant, e.g., "secure FTP". That is certainly what I thought I had set up and certainly was not. The point here being that there is a reason why no change was evident in the FTP server. I was not using it. Time to start over.

Thank you,

Doug Peterson
Posts: 4
Joined: 27. January 2008 15:08

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