Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
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Last edited 03/22/2013
This document describes how to install a PureFTPd server that uses virtual users from a MySQL database instead of real system users. This is much more performant and allows to have thousands of ftp users on a single machine. In addition to that I will show the use of quota and upload/download bandwidth limits with this setup. Passwords will be stored encrypted as MD5 strings in the database.
For the administration of the MySQL database you can use web based tools like phpMyAdmin which will also be installed in this howto. phpMyAdmin is a comfortable graphical interface which means you do not have to mess around with the command line.
This tutorial is based on CentOS 6.4. You should already have set up a basic CentOS 6.4 system, for example as described in the first six chapters of this tutorial: The Perfect Server – CentOS 6.4 x86_64 (Apache2, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)
This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.
This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!
1 Preliminary Note
In this tutorial I use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address 192.168.0.100. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.
2 Install MySQL And phpMyAdmin
First we enable the EPEL repository on our CentOS system as some packages that we are going to install in the course of this tutorial are not available in the official CentOS 6.4 repositories:
rpm –import https://fedoraproject.org/static/0608B895.txt
rpm -ivh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
yum install yum-priorities
… and add the line priority=10 to the [epel] section:
[epel] name=Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 6 - $basearch #baseurl=http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/$basearch mirrorlist=https://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/metalinkrepo=epel-6&arch=$basearch failovermethod=priority enabled=1 priority=10 gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-6 [...]
Now we can install MySQL and phpMyAdmin as follows:
yum install mysql mysql-server phpMyAdmin httpd
Afterwards, we must edit the file /etc/httpd/conf.d/phpMyAdmin.conf to make phpMyAdmin accessible from all IP addresses. By default, it’s accessible only from 127.0.0.1. Comment out this section:
# Order Deny,Allow
# Deny from All
# Allow from 127.0.0.1
# Allow from ::1
so that the file looks like this:
# phpMyAdmin - Web based MySQL browser written in php # # Allows only localhost by default # # But allowing phpMyAdmin to anyone other than localhost should be considered # dangerous unless properly secured by SSL Alias /phpMyAdmin /usr/share/phpMyAdmin Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpMyAdmin #<Directory /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/> # Order Deny,Allow # Deny from All # Allow from 127.0.0.1 # Allow from ::1 #</Directory> <Directory /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/setup/> Order Deny,Allow Deny from All Allow from 127.0.0.1 Allow from ::1 </Directory> # These directories do not require access over HTTP - taken from the original # phpMyAdmin upstream tarball # <Directory /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/libraries/> Order Deny,Allow Deny from All Allow from None </Directory> <Directory /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/setup/lib/> Order Deny,Allow Deny from All Allow from None </Directory> <Directory /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/setup/frames/> Order Deny,Allow Deny from All Allow from None </Directory> # This configuration prevents mod_security at phpMyAdmin directories from # filtering SQL etc. This may break your mod_security implementation. # #<IfModule mod_security.c> # <Directory /usr/share/phpMyAdmin/> # SecRuleInheritance Off # </Directory> #</IfModule>
Then we create the system startup links for MySQL and Apache (so that both start automatically whenever the system boots) and start both services:
chkconfig –levels 235 mysqld on
chkconfig –levels 235 httpd on
Create a password for the MySQL user root (replace yourrootsqlpassword with the password you want to use):
[root@server1 ~]# mysql_secure_installation
NOTE: RUNNING ALL PARTS OF THIS SCRIPT IS RECOMMENDED FOR ALL MySQL
SERVERS IN PRODUCTION USE! PLEASE READ EACH STEP CAREFULLY!
In order to log into MySQL to secure it, we’ll need the current
password for the root user. If you’ve just installed MySQL, and
you haven’t set the root password yet, the password will be blank,
so you should just press enter here.
Enter current password for root (enter for none): <– ENTER
OK, successfully used password, moving on…
Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MySQL
root user without the proper authorisation.
Set root password [Y/n] <– ENTER
New password: <– yourrootsqlpassword
Re-enter new password: <– yourrootsqlpassword
Password updated successfully!
Reloading privilege tables..
By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MySQL without having to have a user account created for
them. This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother. You should remove them before moving into a
Remove anonymous users [Y/n] <– ENTER
Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from ’localhost’. This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.
Disallow root login remotely [Y/n] <– ENTER
By default, MySQL comes with a database named ’test’ that anyone can
access. This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.
Remove test database and access to it [Y/n] <– ENTER
– Dropping test database…
– Removing privileges on test database…
Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.
Reload privilege tables now [Y/n] <– ENTER
All done! If you’ve completed all of the above steps, your MySQL
installation should now be secure.
Thanks for using MySQL!
3 Install PureFTPd With MySQL Support
The CentOS PureFTPd package supports various backends, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, LDAP, etc. Therefore, all we have to do is install the normal PureFTPd package:
yum install pure-ftpd
Then we create an ftp group (ftpgroup) and user (ftpuser) that all our virtual users will be mapped to. Replace the group- and userid 2001 with a number that is free on your system:
groupadd -g 2001 ftpgroup
useradd -u 2001 -s /bin/false -d /bin/null -c “pureftpd user” -g ftpgroup ftpuser
4 Create The MySQL Database For PureFTPd
Now we create a database called pureftpd and a MySQL user named pureftpd which the PureFTPd daemon will use later on to connect to the pureftpd database:
mysql -u root -p
CREATE DATABASE pureftpd;
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP ON pureftpd.* TO ‘pureftpd’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘ftpdpass’;
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP ON pureftpd.* TO ‘pureftpd’@’localhost.localdomain’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘ftpdpass’;
Replace the string ftpdpass with whatever password you want to use for the MySQL user pureftpd. Still on the MySQL shell, we create the database table we need (yes, there is only one table!):
CREATE TABLE ftpd (
User varchar(16) NOT NULL default ”,
status enum(’0′,’1′) NOT NULL default ’0′,
Password varchar(64) NOT NULL default ”,
Uid varchar(11) NOT NULL default ‘-1′,
Gid varchar(11) NOT NULL default ‘-1′,
Dir varchar(128) NOT NULL default ”,
ULBandwidth smallint(5) NOT NULL default ’0′,
DLBandwidth smallint(5) NOT NULL default ’0′,
comment tinytext NOT NULL,
ipaccess varchar(15) NOT NULL default ‘*’,
QuotaSize smallint(5) NOT NULL default ’0′,
QuotaFiles int(11) NOT NULL default 0,
PRIMARY KEY (User),
UNIQUE KEY User (User)
As you may have noticed, with the quit; command we have left the MySQL shell and are back on the Linux shell.
BTW, (I’m assuming that the hostname of your ftp server system is server1.example.com) you can access phpMyAdmin under http://server1.example.com/phpMyAdmin/ (you can also use the IP address instead of server1.example.com) in a browser and log in as the user pureftpd. Then you can have a look at the database. Later on you can use phpMyAdmin to administrate your PureFTPd server.
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