ProFTPD wont start

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#1 Mon, 12/15/2008 - 11:52

ProFTPD wont start

Hi Please help, my ProFTPD wont start.

When I click start server it just returns this.

Failed to start FTP server : Starting proftpd: [FAILED]

Nothing else.

I have never used it before.

I am using Operating system CentOS Linux 5 Webmin version 1.430 Virtualmin version 3.59.gpl (GPL)

Thanx Regards Shane<br><br>Post edited by: southerns, at: 2008/12/15 12:06

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 12:16
ronald's picture

without log entries about an error (if any) it's somewhat hard to troubleshoot

if the ftp server is already running then this message would show up. It cant start as it already started.

You can maybe stop it and start again or press restart.

Is there a problem logging in over ftp? if so what problem?

Sun, 12/21/2008 - 20:34 (Reply to #2)

Thanx for the responses.

/var/log/proftpd is empty.

This is what makes it so frustrating its not giving me any info as to whats wrong.

proftpd is not running as it only gives me the option to start it, no stop or restart.

I also cannot login with FTP to my sites.

Mon, 12/22/2008 - 10:52 (Reply to #3)

Is there perhaps another FTP service running?

If you log into your system using SSH, what do you get when you run this:

netstat -an | grep :21

Also, does anything show up in /var/log/messages when you try to start proftp?

Sun, 01/04/2009 - 02:32 (Reply to #4)


I have the same problem as southerns.

I have checked netstat -an | grep :21 and nothing is used.
also checked the log files and there is nothing in it about proftpd.

Does anybody already has a solution?


Sun, 01/04/2009 - 05:06 (Reply to #5)

If you log in as root over SSH, are you able to start proftpd from the command line using something like this:

/etc/init.d/proftp restart

If it doesn't work, do you get any error message?

If you don't get an error message, what do you see if you type this:

proftpd --configtest

If that doesn't show an error, I'm curious if you see any useful output by manually running the daemon with this:


Do you receive any errors? Or does it perhaps work?


Mon, 01/05/2009 - 08:12 (Reply to #6)

When I try /etc/init.d/proftp restart I get this message:
Shutting down proftpd: [FAILED]
Starting proftpd: [FAILED]

Mon, 01/05/2009 - 08:37 (Reply to #7)

Okay, that isn't saying too much unfortunately. So let's look at some of those other troubleshooting ideas I mentioned.

Try running:

proftpd --configtest

If that doesn't show an error, I'm curious if you see any useful output by manually running the daemon with this:


Do you receive any errors? Or does it perhaps work?

Perhaps that will shed some light on what it's unhappy about!

Tue, 01/06/2009 - 02:41 (Reply to #8)

I started proftpd with /usr/sbin/proftpd and got these errors:
- warning: unable to determine IP address of '****(computername)'
- error: no valid servers configured
- Fatal: error processing configuration file '/etc/proftpd.conf'

Tue, 01/06/2009 - 05:14 (Reply to #9)

I have found what is was.
The hostname of mij computer in /etc/hosts was wrong :(

Now it starts up with no errors messages

Tue, 01/06/2009 - 05:21 (Reply to #10)

Nice catch! I'm glad you got it working.

Thanks for the update, folks who run into this in the future will be able to fix that now.

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 09:48 (Reply to #11)

This worked for me. Thank you for the information!

Mon, 02/23/2009 - 17:53 (Reply to #12)

I am having the same problem with ProFTPD but could not figure out what needs to be changed in hosts file: localhost localhost.localdomain

Could you please point me to right direction.

Mon, 02/23/2009 - 17:56 (Reply to #13)

Is that the only entry in your hosts file?

You need an entry with your primary IP address and hostname, such as:


Where x.y.z.q is your server's primary IP address, and is your servers hostname and domain name.

Mon, 02/23/2009 - 18:24 (Reply to #14)

Yes, that was the only entry in my hosts file.

FYI, I am on EC2 AMI running 3.66 GPL.

Now I added another entry to it like this:


Mon, 02/23/2009 - 18:26 (Reply to #15)

I am getting errors when I run &quot;proftpd --configtest&quot;

IPv4 getaddrinfo 'ip-10-250-11-229' error: Name or service not known
- warning: unable to determine IP address of 'ip-10-250-11-229'

Mon, 02/23/2009 - 18:30 (Reply to #16)

Well, I'm not really up on all the RC2 stuff -- though in your case, it appears as if ProFTP thinks that &quot;ip-10-250-11-229&quot; is your hostname.

If you add that next to the entry in the hosts file you created, that might help get it to launch. For example:

IP ip-10-250-11-229

Mon, 12/15/2008 - 21:35

Not mistaken your log file is located in /var/log/proftpd
you should paste your error msg here. Before pinpoint what is the actual root cause.

Thu, 07/30/2009 - 19:37

My system was running fine, until yesterday. output of configtest is: [root@ns1 ~]# proftpd --configtest Checking syntax of configuration file - IPv4 getaddrinfo 'ns1' error: Name or service not known - warning: unable to determine IP address of 'ns1' - error: no valid servers configured - Fatal: error processing configuration file '/etc/proftpd.conf'

/etc/hosts is: localhost localhost.localdomain

Had my provider allocate an additional IP address yesterday. Rebooted my VPS running CentOS, Now proftpd will not start.

Thu, 07/30/2009 - 19:41

Sounds like your hostname is set to "ns1", but that's not defined in your /etc/hosts file.

What you can do is add an ns1 in there, such as this: ns1

That is, add it to the end of an existing line -- and that should hopefully do the trick!


Thu, 07/30/2009 - 20:30 (Reply to #20)

Thanks Eric,

That did the trick, but one wonders why it ran before without any trouble. Perhaps the new BIND update made it pickier.


Fri, 08/14/2009 - 01:52

I've been having the same problem.

after reviewing the thread, I did the following

cd /etc
ls -l ho*

and found my hosts file was indeed empty, however there was a hosts.bak that had pretty much everything in it I would expect.

date on the file was Aug 02, I took a look at Webmin > Webmin > Webmin Actions Log, did find an action on the same date and time, but that was a "Manually edited server" when I was experimenting with some Apache conf for a server.

So I figured, let's try

cd /etc/
mv hosts hosts.bad
mv hosts.bak hosts
/etc/init.d/proftpd restart

and the proftpd service restarted fine.

however there are problems with using the ftp service (cannot ftp in and put file).

did a check for updates, a number of updates were applied, ran another ftp test from a windows machine and was able to put file. From a CentOS machine, started FTP, was able to log in, typed ls, got message

227 Entering Passive Mode (192,168,nn,nn,nn).

and connection timed out.

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 08:54

Hi Eric Similar problem here, Can't get ProFTPD to start on CentOS 5.6 from virtualmin. In virtualmin proFTPD is always showing as not runnning however if I give this command from SSH

  • service --status-all

proftpd (pid 9676) is running...

It appear that proFTPD is running .... any idea why Virtualmin is not detecting it

Fri, 04/22/2011 - 09:50

You may want to try stopping and restarting the service -- it's possible it somehow got out of sync with Virtualmin.


Fri, 04/22/2011 - 11:31 (Reply to #24)

Thank you for your reply Eric I have stopped and restarted proFTPD many times already without luck. Is there any other way to get the sync running.


Sun, 05/01/2011 - 10:24


I have a similar problem. Up to a short while ago (2 hours ago) the FTPD still worked, now it doesn't. Can't start it. It's not running, but there are some curious things ...

the proftpd --configtest command prints this:

Checking syntax of configuration file
- warning: unable to determine IP address of ''
- warning: unable to determine IP address of ''
- ProFTPD terminating (signal 11)
- FTP session closed.
Segmentation fault

I found a post telling me it might be a problem with the DNS, so I added an A record for to the IP of the server.

The /var/log/messages tells me this:

May  1 17:19:30 server1 kernel: proftpd[3832]: segfault at 0000000000000068 rip 0000000000465324 rsp 00007fffb2ccc590 error 4

Any ideas?

Sun, 05/01/2011 - 10:29

Ok, I solved it. The DNS on the server itself still needed to be updated. After doing this, I could start immediately :)

Sun, 05/01/2011 - 10:34

Yeah, you would want to make sure that your hostname is listed in /etc/hosts along with your IP address.

However, you shouldn't be seeing kernel segfaults when ProFTPd is starting, that indicates a really odd problem :-)

Are you by chance low on RAM? That can sometimes cause strange issues. Some VPS's can cause strange issues if you don't have enough dedicated RAM.


Sun, 05/01/2011 - 10:34

Oops, your reply came in while I was typing... glad you got it straightened out!


Thu, 12/24/2015 - 11:19

I don't know how, but I had to follow the steps. "No logs after failed trying to start proftpd..


Don Peek

Sat, 11/04/2017 - 08:39
bislinks's picture

My Error:

[root@datalawn ~]# proftpd --configtest
Checking syntax of configuration file
2017-11-04 09:09:20,180 proftpd[9463]: processing configur                            ation directory '/etc/proftpd/conf.d'
2017-11-04 09:09:20,180 proftpd[9463]: mod_dso/0.5: unable                              to load 'mod_tls.c'; check to see if '/usr/libexec/proftpd/' exists
2017-11-04 09:09:20,180 proftpd[9463]: mod_dso/0.5: module                              'mod_tls.c' already loaded
2017-11-04 09:09:20,180 proftpd[9463]: fatal: TLSRSACertif                             icateFile: '/etc/pki/tls/certs/proftpd.pem' does not exist on line 8 of '/etc/pr                             oftpd/conf.d/virtualmin.conf'

I installed/provided SSL to ProFTPD and it started

After ProFTPD started,

[root@datalawn ~]# proftpd --configtest
Checking syntax of configuration file
2017-11-04 09:19:17,104 proftpd[11448]: processing configuration directory '/etc/proftpd/conf.d'
2017-11-04 09:19:17,104 proftpd[11448]: mod_dso/0.5: unable to load 'mod_tls.c'; check to see if '/usr/libexec/proftpd/' exists
2017-11-04 09:19:17,104 proftpd[11448]: mod_dso/0.5: module 'mod_tls.c' already loaded
Syntax check complete.

I still see an error regarding mod_tls.c. Maybe someone would enlighten me on that. But I am glad proftpd is back up and running. I Was also able to connnect/test using

openssl s_client -connect localhost:21 -starttls ftp

on the machine via SSH.


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