Sometimes you may not need to set up a full FTP server with authenticated users with upload and download privileges. If you are simply looking for a quick way to allow users to grab a few files, an anonymous FTP server can fit the bill. This article shows you show to set it up.
This example uses the vsftp server.
Installing and configuring the anonymous FTP server
$ sudo dnf install vsftpd
Enable the vsftp server.
$ sudo systemctl enable vsftpd
Next, edit your /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf file to allow anonymous downloads. Make sure you have the following entries.
This option controls whether anonymous logins are permitted or not. If enabled, both the usernames ftp and anonymous are recognized as anonymous logins.
This option controls whether local logins are permitted.
This option controls whether any FTP commands which change the filesystem are allowed.
When enabled, this option prevents vsftpd from asking for an anonymous password. With this setting, the anonymous user will log straight in without one.
Enable this option to display all user and group information in directory listings as ftp.
Finally, these options set the minimum and maximum port to allocate for PASV style data connections. Use them to specify a narrow port range to assist firewalling. You should choose a range for ports that aren’t currently in use. This example uses port 40000-40001 to limit the ports to a range of 1.
Now that you’ve set the options, add the appropriate firewall rules to allow vsftp connections along with the passive port range you specified.
$ firewall-cmd --add-service=ftp --perm $ firewall-cmd --add-port=40000-40001/tcp --perm $ firewall-cmd --reload
Next, configure SELinux to allow passive FTP:
$ setsebool -P ftpd_use_passive_mode on
And finally, start the vsftp server:
$ systemctl start vsftpd
At this point you have a working FTP server. Place the content you want to offer in /var/ftp. (Typically, system administrators put publicly downloadable content under /var/ftp/pub.) Now you can connect to your server using an FTP client on another system.