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vsftpd, GnuTLS error -12 and Filezilla

I recently had an issue with a user not being able to log into their FTP account. I have vsftpd set up to use TLS encryption. When using Filezilla to connect to vsftpd with explicit TLS you may see something similar to the following output:

Status: Resolving address of
Status: Connecting to…
Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message…
Command: AUTH TLS
Response: 234 Proceed with negotiation.
Status: Initializing TLS…
Error: GnuTLS error -12: A TLS fatal alert has been received.
Error: Could not connect to server

The problem was that weaker ciphers have been removed from Filezilla 3.5.3 which were previously available in 3.5.2 – Users running the older version didn’t have any issues connecting. To fix this issue simply edit the /etc/vsftpd.conf file and add the following:


That fixed the login issues for the new user.

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