I have a SFTP server in which large number of clients are connecting, uploading and downloading files of small size (500KB to 2MB). Though there are 200 clients, only 5 to 30 clients will connect at a time. Each clients might download/upload 5 to 100 files at a time.

Some of my clients face timeouts/issues while uploading large number of files. My intention is to speed up the clients connection and permit large number of parallel connections. Server load is not a concern for me. Please suggest a good, high performance configuration for my server.

My sshd settings are below

# sshd -T
port 22
protocol 2
addressfamily any
listenaddress [::]:22
usepam 1
serverkeybits 768
logingracetime 120
keyregenerationinterval 3600
x11displayoffset 10
maxauthtries 6
maxsessions 10
clientaliveinterval 0
clientalivecountmax 3
permitrootlogin yes
ignorerhosts yes
ignoreuserknownhosts no
rhostsrsaauthentication no
hostbasedauthentication no
hostbasedusesnamefrompacketonly no
rsaauthentication yes
pubkeyauthentication yes
kerberosauthentication no
kerberosorlocalpasswd yes
kerberosticketcleanup yes
gssapiauthentication no
gssapikeyexchange no
gssapicleanupcredentials yes
gssapistrictacceptorcheck yes
gssapistorecredentialsonrekey no
passwordauthentication yes
kbdinteractiveauthentication no
challengeresponseauthentication no
printmotd no
printlastlog yes
x11forwarding yes
x11uselocalhost yes
strictmodes yes
tcpkeepalive yes
permitblacklistedkeys no
permitemptypasswords no
permituserenvironment no
uselogin no
compression delayed
gatewayports no
usedns yes
allowtcpforwarding yes
useprivilegeseparation yes
pidfile /var/run/sshd.pid
xauthlocation /usr/bin/xauth
loglevel VERBOSE
syslogfacility AUTH
authorizedkeysfile .ssh/authorized_keys .ssh/authorized_keys2
hostkey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
hostkey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key
hostkey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key
acceptenv LANG
acceptenv LC_*
subsystem sftp /usr/lib/openssh/sftp-server -l VERBOSE -f LOCAL5
maxstartups 10:100:10
permittunnel no
ipqos lowdelay throughput
permitopen any
  • What kind of load average does top, uptime, etc. show? You may be chasing your tail with service config, what is happening at network level? How about disk I/O ?
    – ivanivan
    Aug 3, 2017 at 4:25
  • @ivanivan : Load average (usually 0.00) and other parameters are fine, it is a very powerful server Aug 3, 2017 at 4:28
  • Then I would focus on the network and network traffic...
    – ivanivan
    Aug 3, 2017 at 4:31
  • @ivanivan : Those are okay as this server has no other traffic and is dedicated for this particular purpose. I need some adjustments with maxsessions, maxstartups and any other variables Aug 3, 2017 at 4:34

1 Answer 1

maxstartups 10:100:10

is a problem. I basically starts dropping a new connection when there is 10 clients authenticating at the same time. You should increase the first value if you are serving more than 10 users at the same time.

Additionally, you can consider installing HPN-SSH from


Which might have some better performance even in the case of network speed up (but you might hit hard-to-debug bugs).

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