How to fix Proftpd ‘530 login incorrect’ error in web hosting servers
Managing FTP servers – Proftpd and Pure-ftpd – is a task we perform as a part of our role as Outsourced Tech Support engineers for web hosting companies.
“530 Login incorrect” is a common error noted in Proftpd servers when users try to establish an FTP connection to the server. 530 login error means that the Proftpd server is unable to authenticate the user with the login details provided.
The error message usually shows when FTP users try to establish a session with the server by submitting their username and password in FTP clients such as Filezilla.
Name (server:root): username 331 Password required for username Password: 530 Login incorrect. Login failed.
Here, we’ll see the main reasons why Proftpd ‘530 login incorrect’ error happens and how we resolve it.
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What causes “530 Login incorrect” error in Proftpd
While debugging 530 login incorrect errors, we’ve seen that the error mainly happens due to these reasons:
1. Incorrect login details used
Login details used by users for FTP access include their username and password. Any of these entered wrong can give a 530 login error in FTP. If the user account is non-existing or expired, Proftpd will not allow login.
In cPanel, there is a default user account and additional FTP accounts associated with each domain. For default user account, the ‘username’ is the FTP login name.
But for additional FTP accounts, the FTP login name is of the format ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. If the FTP username entered is not in this specific format, login failures happen.
“530 Login incorrect” also happens due to usage of wrong or mis-spelled password. Even a single additional space in the password can cause a login failure.
2. User account settings
If the user account belongs to the list of accounts that are banned from accessing FTP (listed in ‘/etc/ftpusers’), then Proftpd would return a ‘530 login incorrect’ message.
The ‘login shell’ that is assigned for the FTP user should be a valid one and present in the server, otherwise the user would be unable to establish an FTP session.
Other user account specific issues that we’ve encountered are, the absence of home directory, improper permissions and ownership of the directory, the group of the ftp user is not listed in the config file, etc.
3. Server configuration issues
At times, any server wide setting can also lead to login failures for Proftpd users. This can include filters or restrictions set in the Proftpd configuration file.
Server security settings such as SELinux or PAM authentication module configuration settings, can prevent establishing successful FTP sessions and give “530 Login incorrect” failures.
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