Debian Pure-FTPD Virtual Users Howto

After being a dedicated Gentoo user, I’ve recently moved over to Debian.  Hoping to work more on productive tasks, than just administrating my servers.  In the switch I had to configure Pure-FTPD to use virtual users, and the config files are quite a bit different than Gentoo.

I thought I’d write up a quick how to on how to configure Pure-FTPD with virtual users in Debian, as sort of a personal reference, and in hope someone else will be able to put it to use.  And here we go..

Enable PureDB authentication:

# cd /etc/pure-ftpd/auth

# ln -s ../conf/PureDB 50pure

To disable PAM authentication and UNIX authentication so you only have virtual users:
# echo no > /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/PAMAuthentication

# echo no > /etc/pure-ftpd/conf/UnixAuthentication

That’s it.  Simple, but when coming from a single config file, this isn’t at all intuitive – at least to me.

I’ve always recommended Pure-FTPD for it’s security, features, and simplicity.  You can find out more information at the official Pure-FTPD projects website:

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  1. #1 by travis on August 11, 2013 - 7:56 pm


  2. #2 by Craig on September 24, 2013 - 11:03 am

    I must say thank you for this. I was having a terrible time configuring pure-ftpd on debian wheezy and I found this little gem. It works!!
    Thank you very much. The power of an internet “search”!

  3. #3 by kennii on March 27, 2015 - 8:47 am

    Dear Mr. Fortuna,

    I LOVE YOU! :D

    I’ve spent half a day installing/configuring/reinstallig/debugging/… pure-ftpd with virtual user support and couldn’t get it to work. AND IT IS SO F*CKING SIMPLE … should have seen that by myself, but …


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