Troubleshooting FTP Connections

In pfSense 2.0.x and 2.1.x, the FTP proxy is in-kernel. The only options to control its behavior are an on/off switch and a list of ports to be used by the proxy.

In pfSense 2.2.x and newer, there is no built-in FTP proxy. See Using NAT and FTP without a Proxy.

Disabling the FTP Proxy

If the FTP proxy must be disabled, this may be done by visiting System > Advanced, on the System Tunables tab, then set debug.pfftpproxy=1. Set it to 0 again to enable the proxy.

FTP Ports

FTP traffic is identified by the use of port 21. Other ports can be used if they added to a comma-separated list in the system tunable debug.pfftpports (e.g. 21,2121,4559)

Rules to allow FTP

If problems are encountered with FTP, check the rules to/from FTP devices, ensure that both the control port and PASV range are allowed.


  1. Disable the FTP Proxy and attempt the connection again
  2. Use SCP/SFTP which only needs 1 port to traverse the firewall since it is wrapped in SSH (yes a safe AND simple way of traversing a firewall!)
  3. Don’t use FTP (highly recommended option)