Debian 9 - No more SFTP on port 2222 since the latest ProFTPd update

Edit 2020-08-26 : End of the story, the issue has been fixed in the Debian repos.


This is related to this forum post but I allow myself to create an issue since it really looks like a bug.

ProFTPd has been updated in Debian 9 repos a couple of days ago. Since then, SFTP connections on port 2222 aren't possible anymore. I am unsure what is exactly on the hand since the logs don't give much clues.

My temporary workarround is to downgrade ProFTPd, doing so everything gets back on track.

This is easily reproducible :

1) Launching a fresh server with Debian 9, in my case a VPS at OVH: 2) Install Virtualmin with the install script, evrything works like a charm 3) Create a top-level virtual server "" 4) Trying a SFTP connection on the 2222 port for the user "vps481644"

It fails with a vague error message and not much more in the logs.

5) Downgrade ProFTPd: "wget" (that's the previous version) + "dpkg -i proftpd-basic_1.3.5b-4+deb9u5_amd64.deb"

And SFTP is working again.

I run a lot of Debian 9 server and VPS ... a little help would be greatly appreciated :-)

Best ragards, Nico

Closed (fixed)


Does the FTP client completely fail to connect to port 2222, or can it just not login?

Also, what gets logged to /var/log/messages?

Hello Jamie, thank you for your answer.

Yes, the FTP client completely fails to connect to port 2222.

/var/log/messages shows absolutely nothing.

auth.log and the ProFTPd log files do not help much either.

Ilia's picture
Submitted by Ilia on Tue, 08/25/2020 - 14:00

This is super odd.

Can you please specify which version of ProFTPd exactly fails and which one works as expected, considering that it's installed from default Debian 9 repos.

it is weird indeed ... or more precisely it WAS weird because a new update of ProFTPd appeared yesterday in the Debian repositories. Obviously, the maintainers of Debian LTS have addressed this issue because this latest update fixes the problem. Sorry for the noise, end of the drama :-)

Status: Fixed » Closed (fixed)

Automatically closed - issue fixed for 2 weeks with no activity.