HowTo, Mac Server

Creating an FTP User on Mac Server ( Mountain Lion )

So you’ve got a Mac and you’ve installed Server. Today I am going to walk you through on how to properly setup an FTP user. I recently had to go through this to setup an FTP user for this WordPress blog so that I can install plugins and do WordPress updates.

Creating an FTP User on Mac Server is not as blatantly obvious as it should be and is definitely not as fluid as the rest of the Mac Operating System.

So lets get right to it. Go ahead and launch Server and login. Once logged in you should see a window similar to the following:

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Click on Users

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Click on the + button to add a new User

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 11.37.54 AM










Fill in all of the details to create your new user. Account Name will be the user name of your FTP user. Leave Home Folder as Local Only and click on Done

The user should now be present in the list of users.

Right Click on the newly created user account and click on Advanced Options

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 11.37.28 AM







You should now have a dialog window that looks similar to the following.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 11.37.43 AM










The 2 most important things you need to do here are giving the user a valid Login Shell such as /bin/bash and assigning the user a proper Home Directory. The default home directory should do here unless you want him to be defaulted to a different directory when he logs in via an FTP client. Once you are done, you may click on the OK button.

IMPORTANT. If you do not complete this last step, you will receive the error 530 User xxxxx denied by SACL or 530 User xxxxx may not use FTP. This is because by default, the new user is not assigned a valid login shell which is required when logging in via FTP.

So that’s it. That’s all you have to do to create an FTP user on a Mac Server running Mountain Lion. Hopefully this post was useful to someone. I mainly added this for my own reference but am always hoping that it could help someone else out. As always if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment.


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I've been in the Geek category for as long as I can remember. I am into anything technology and Sci-Fi related. I like tinkering with electronics as well as writing applications for Mac & iPhone.

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