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FTP MLSD timeout : How we fix?

Looking forward to resolve the error FTP MLSD timeout? We can help you in resolving it.

At Bobcares, we often get requests from our customers to fix FTP MLSD timeout as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let’s get into the details on how our Support Engineers fix this error.


Why FTP MLSD timeout?

FileZilla is the FTP client which is used to transfer files between computers on a network

However, many have come across the error Connection timed out.

For instance, the error appears as follows.

FTP MLSD timeout

Let’s get in detail on how our Support Engineers fix this problem.


How easily we resolve this error!

At Bobcares, where we have more than a decade of expertise in managing servers, we see many customers face problems with FTP MLSD timeout.

Now, let’s see how our Support Engineers fix this error.


Altering configuration file

Recently, many customers approached us with the connection timeout error after running the MLSD command. The customer doesn’t face any issues while logging into the server via FTP whereas, the FTP connection is getting timed out after the MLSD command.

We fixed the problem by adding IP table modules ip_conntrack_netbios_ns ip_conntrack_ftp. This is done by following the few steps below.

1. Initially, we entered into the configuration page by following the below path.

vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables-config

2. Thereafter, we added the below line at the end of the configuration page.

IPTABLES_MODULES=”ip_conntrack_netbios_ns ip_conntrack_ftp”

3. Then we saved and closed the file.

4. Finally, we restarted the iptables service

service iptables restart

The FTP had worked then through passive mode.


Enabling passive mode

In some situations, by enabling the Passive (PASV) mode in the FTP client the error will resolve.

Although FileZilla comes with Passive mode enabled by default, if it has to be changed at some point, we have to re-enable Passive mode by completing the following steps

1. Initially, open FileZilla and open the settings (under the Edit menu).

2. Then, under Connection select FTP.

3. Here, the section at the top is called Transfer Mode. Within that, choose Passive Mode.

4. Finally, Click OK. Then customers should now be able to connect.


Changing encryption method

In addition, Recently, another customer approached us with the same error message. And this occurred due to the encryption method used. After Changing Encryption method to Use plain FTP the problem was resolved.

Ensure that the Protocol on the FileZilla settings is Only used plain FTP and not Use explicit FTP over TLS if available.

We have assisted the customer to correct the encryption method by providing the following steps.

1. Initially, we asked the user to open FileZilla and then the Site Manager.

2. Then asked to click New site and provide a name.

  • Here, in the host field, provide the domain name.
  • In the port field, provide port number 21
  • Protocol should be FTP and Encryption should Only use plain FTP.
  • Logon type:- Normal

3. Thereafter, give username and password of FTP

4. Finally, Click connect > Ok


[Having trouble with error FTP MLSD timeout? We’ll fix it for you.]



In short, FTP MLSD timeout occurs after MLSD command. This can be fixed by adding IP table modules, Enabling passive mode, Changing encryption method so on. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers help the customer to fix this error.


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