The vsftpd daemon fails to start when using an SSL certificate with a passphrase protected key

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Using an SSL certificate with a passphrase protected key prevents vsftpd from starting via the systemctl command.
# systemctl start vsftpd
-- Unit vsftpd.service has begun starting up.
Jul 24 06:19:36 vsftpd[XXXXX]: 500 OOPS: SSL: cannot load RSA certificate
Jul 24 06:19:36 systemd[1]: vsftpd.service: control process exited, code=exited status=2
Jul 24 06:19:36 systemd[1]: Failed to start Vsftpd ftp daemon.
-- Subject: Unit vsftpd.service has failed
-- Defined-By: systemd


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

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