Users with /bin/false shell to login on vsftpd


With default configuration of vsftpd (vsftpd.conf under /etc) users with no shell or /bin/false shell are not able to login vsftpd ftp server.

This is because vsftpd.conf includes such a line to enable pam module:


This line points to which pam service name will be applied. Pam configuration related to vsftpd is then /etc/pam.d/vsftpd.

This pam file contains a file such as:

auth   required

This means basically only the users who have valid shells will be authenticated. Setting the shell to /bin/false of a user simply means that this user will not be able to login the system via vsftpd ftp service.

To enable users with no valid shell to login the ftp server, commenting out this line in /etc/pam.d/vsftpd file will be sufficient.


Hi, I followed your instructions, still couldn’t find a way to get it work :-/
When I tried to logon with a dedicated ftp user, it only works with line
cam00:x:1002:1002::/ftp/cam00:/ in /etc/passwd, as far running with
cam00:x:1002:1002::/ftp/cam00:/bin/false works?


If /bin/false also listed in /etc/shells configuration file, which includes valid login shells of the system, users continue to login successfully.

You should remove /bin/false line from the config file.