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ProFTPd© does not automatically reference /etc/hosts.allow or /etc/hosts.deny to restrict access to the FTP service. The purpose of this document is to provide an example of how to configure ProFTPd to utilize the Host Access Control feature from the command line to restrict access by IP address to FTP.


This document describes an unsupported workaround that is not guaranteed to work in the future.

  • After these steps are performed on a server, it is the system administrator's responsibility to manage and maintain the server's database software.
  • We recommend that only experienced system administrators attempt to perform these steps.
  • We are not responsible for any data loss that is caused by an attempt to perform these steps.

System Requirements:

To configure ProFTPd, you must have the following installed on your server:

  • ProFTPd version 1.3.3 or higher
  • mod_wrap

As the root user, run the following command to confirm that you have the correct version of ProFTPd and mod_wrap installed on your server:

proftpd -V | awk '/Version/ {print $0}; /mod_wrap/ {print "mod_wrap is installed"}'

The output will resemble the following:

root@testserver [~]# proftpd -V | awk '/Version/ {print $0}; /mod_wrap/ {print "mod_wrap is installed"}'
  Version: 1.3.5rc1 (devel)
mod_wrap is installed
root@testserver [~]#

Configuration instructions

To configure ProFTPd, perform the following steps as the root user:

Main IP address

  1. Open the /etc/proftpd.conf file with a text editor, add the following lines after the comments.

    TCPAccessFiles /etc/hosts.allow /etc/hosts.deny
    TCPServiceName ftp
  2. Run the following command  to restart ProFTPd:



    You must specify both /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny or you will receive an error.

  3. Add deny rules and test. 


    When ProFTPd rejects connections due to Host Access Control configuration, those failures are reported as authentication failures.

    root@testserver [~]# ftp
    Connected to
    220 ProFTPD 1.3.5rc1 Server (ProFTPD) [::ffff:]
    Name ( cptest
    331 Password required for cptest
    530 Access denied
    ftp: Login failed
    ftp> quit
    221 Goodbye.

Additional IP addresses

Each Virtual Host that requires Access Control will need an entry in the file /etc/proftpd.conf. Add the following lines to each Virtual Host container.

TCPAccessFiles /etc/hosts.allow /etc/hosts.deny
TCPServiceName ftp

The following is an example of a VirtualHost container. 

 ServerName ftp.testserver.tld
 AuthUserFile /etc/proftpd/wcraft
 MaxClients 3 "Sorry, this ftp server has reached its maximum user count (%m). Please try again later"
 DirFakeGroup On ftpgroup
 DirFakeUser On ftpuser
 DefaultRoot ~
TCPAccessFiles /etc/hosts.allow /etc/hosts.deny
 TCPServiceName ftp

Additional documentation

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