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Configure chroot jail for SFTP on Debian

·216 words·2 mins

Setting up a chroot jail for SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) on a Debian server enhances security by restricting users’ access to a specific directory. This is particularly useful for granting limited file transfer capabilities without providing full shell access.


Installing and Configuring SSH #

Ensure that the SSH server is installed:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Then, edit the SSH configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Configuring Chroot Environment #

In the sshd_config file, locate or add the following lines to set up a chroot environment:

Subsystem sftp internal-sftp

Match Group sftponly
    ChrootDirectory /home/%u
    ForceCommand internal-sftp
    AllowTcpForwarding no
    X11Forwarding no

Replace /home/%u with your desired chroot directory and sftponly with the group name for restricted users.

Creating User and Group #

Create a group for chroot-restricted users:

sudo groupadd sftponly

Add a user to this group and set their home directory:

sudo useradd -m -g sftponly -s /bin/false username
sudo passwd username

Ensure the user’s home directory is owned by root:

sudo chown root:root /home/username

Create a subdirectory for user files, with appropriate permissions:

sudo mkdir /home/username/files
sudo chown username:sftponly /home/username/files

Restarting SSH #

Apply changes by restarting the SSH service:

sudo systemctl restart sshd

Testing the Configuration #

Test your setup by connecting through an SFTP client using the newly created user credentials. The user should only access the specified directory.