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Chrooted SFTP in CentOS

I previously wrote about setting up a Chrooted SFTP with PAM MySQL in RHEL in Swedish. I've now had to do another such configuration but without MySQL so I decided to write it in Ansible of course.

No need to go into depth about this because it's all in the Ansible repo.


I prefer this method over other methods because it uses pam_exec to bootstrap directories with a script. Avoiding the need for a large and complex /etc/fstab file with many bind mounts.

Bind mount

As far as I could tell bind mounting a users home directory under a new root was necessary. So ChrootDirectory is set to /var/sftp/%u and users home directory remains under /home/%u.

That means users that login have /home/sftpuser as $HOME set and will attempt to cd into there automatically. So I mount their actual home under /var/sftp/sftpuser/home/sftpuser to simulate this path in the chroot.

This was a vast improvement to my previous setup, which of course had a previous VsFTPD server I had to work around.

Last update: February 16, 2021