I need to grant access via SFTP to a specific folder with full write permissions from the root of this folder. I made it work but can't figure out a way to provide write permission on the / of the root.

I read that the common way to solve this is just to create a subfolder for each user but this one contains existing files which are used all around the website.

In short :

/ should not be readable (this is correct)
/uploads/ is not writable (**but should** by any means)
/uploads/* is writable (and should)

This is what I have done so far :

/var/www/uploads is owned by root:root with 755 permissions. (775 prevents user to even log in)
/var/www/uploads/* is owned by newuser:sftp 775 permissions.

relevant /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Match group sftp
   ChrootDirectory %h
   AllowTcpForwarding no
   X11Forwarding no
   ForceCommand internal-sftp

AllowGroups ssh-users sftp

users are created like this :

useradd -d /var/www/uploads -m newuser -g sftp -s /bin/false

Thank's a lot!

2 Answers 2


I made it work but can't figure out a way to provide write permission on the / of the root.

It is not possible. The chroot directory can not be writtable by the user you are chrooting. That is a must defined in the manual page for sshd_config:

At session startup sshd(8) checks that all components of the pathname are root-owned directories which are not writable by any other user or group.

  • Thanks that's exactly the point. So if we cannot change the default behavior and i can't change the path, should I chroot one level down but how to prevent and ensure any access to everything else there.
    – fbhcf
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:56
  • 1
    In your example you have only one user. One possibility is to chroot one above, the other is to create user-writable directory inside uploads/.
    – Jakuje
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:58
  • Absolutly will do that in the next projects, but there is like hundreds of files directly in /var/www/uploads/ and referenced in webpages. So if I allow /var/www, I do require control over every other file than the upload folder. I can't see no way to ensure that behavior
    – fbhcf
    Mar 23, 2017 at 9:04

Directories shared between users on a system should have permissions that cover access for all the users.

I tend to use 1777 on the shared directory and contents. It gives all users full access while preventing deletion by other than the files' owner.

The preceding 1 in the permission octal is the sticky bit that narrows deletion and permission change rights to the owner.

  • Interesting, did not know about that specific set up. The problem here is that with any other settings on the parent folder than (owner root:root 755) prevents the sftp connections.
    – fbhcf
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:59

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