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chrooting sftp on Solaris

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The chrootssh project maintains patches for OpenSSH that allow ssh and sftp to be chrooted.

1. Download and install the latest openssh-chroot tarball from

2. Create the chroot environment. The following shell script installs all $REQUIRED_CHROOT_FILES, shared library dependencies, and required device files in $CHROOT_DIR.



                         /bin/ls \
                         /bin/mkdir \
                         /bin/mv \
                         /bin/rm \
                         /bin/rmdir \
                         /bin/sh \
                         /bin/ldd \

# Create $CHROOT_DIR
[ ! -d $CHROOT_DIR ] && mkdir $CHROOT_DIR

# Copy $REQUIRED_CHROOT_FILES and shared library dependencies
# to chroot environment

   DIR=`dirname $FILE | cut -c2-`
   [ ! -d $DIR ] && mkdir -p $DIR
   cp $FILE `echo $FILE | cut -c2-`
   for SHARED_LIBRARY in `ldd $FILE | awk '{print $NF}'`
      DIR=`dirname $SHARED_LIBRARY | cut -c2-`
      [ ! -d $DIR ] && mkdir -p $DIR
      [ ! -s "`echo $SHARED_LIBRARY | cut -c2-`" ] && \
      cp $SHARED_LIBRARY `echo $SHARED_LIBRARY | cut -c2-`

cp /usr/lib/ usr/lib

# Create required character devices
mkdir $CHROOT_DIR/dev
mknod $CHROOT_DIR/dev/zero c 13 12
mknod $CHROOT_DIR/dev/null c 13 2
chmod 666 $CHROOT_DIR/dev/zero $CHROOT_DIR/dev/null

3. Create the chroot user. The chroot user's home directory should use the following format:

To support chrooted ssh and sftp, use /bin/sh as the chroot user's shell.
To support chrooted sftp-only, use /usr/local/libexec/sftp-server as the chroot user's shell.

ex. $ grep hutch /etc/passwd
hutchib:x:1000:1:Brandon Hutchinson:/chroot/./home/hutch:/bin/sh

When user "hutch" logs in via ssh or sftp, he will be chrooted to /chroot and placed in the /home/hutch directory.

Note: The directory to which the user is chrooted should be owned by root.


Test the chroot jail by executing the following command as root:
# chroot chroot_directory /bin/sh

If this fails, the error messages may indicate which shared libraries or device files you are missing in the chroot.

Test the chroot sftp configuration:
$ sftp chroot_user@chroot_ssh_server

If this fails, make sure all of the shared libraries referenced in ldd /usr/local/libexec/sftp-server are located in your chroot jail. Example sftp failure message:

Request for subsystem 'sftp' failed on channel 0
Couldn't read packet: Connection reset by peer

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Old News ;-)

Chroot SFTP setup in Solaris Zones - public - Initworks Wiki

Using chroot SFTP inside solaris 10 containers has been a problem for some time. Solaris zones don't have their own /dev/ filesystem and can't create device files. OpenSSH 4.9+ versions don't require /dev/zero anymore nor do they need the ./lib and ./bin locations and file like cp, ls etc.

see for more information.

This is how set it up:

# Use the following line to *replace* any existing 'Subsystem' line
Subsystem       sftp    internal-sftp

# These lines must appear at the *end* of sshd_config
Match Group sftponly
        ChrootDirectory %h
        ForceCommand internal-sftp
    AllowTcpForwarding no



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