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I'm creating a webserver, and I will have many users ssh/sftp into it. All they need to do is within their home directory, for example, /home/user/.

Many people have told me to use chroot, but it seems like it's a little bit too much, plus I'm going to have multiple users log in into the server so it'll be just a huge load on the server.

So to recap, I want to prevent users from leaving their home directory, /home/user/. Is this possible?

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It is with chroot.. – Tim Brigham Jan 18 '12 at 22:30
Would you recommend chroot with multiple users on the server? – samwell Jan 18 '12 at 22:31

Why would chroot be a "huge load on the server"? This is precisely what chroot was designed to do. There are guides aplenty on the internets that you can follow to get things set up.

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I read that it can slow down the server and take more memory. Would you recommend it with multiple users ssh/sftp into the server? – samwell Jan 19 '12 at 4:31
It's likely that things will be just fine. Just give it a try. If it doesn't end up working, nothing has been lost. – EEAA Jan 19 '12 at 4:36
its not a CPU load, but it requires each user to essentially have their own os install in their home directory. Otherwise an ssh user chrooted to their $HOME directory is pretty much not able to do anything. (like they couldn't run ls or cat since those require access to /bin and /lib) – stew Jan 19 '12 at 15:29

SSH has built in chroot features for sftp, with ssh its a bit trickier since the users get to start a fully shell, but its also possible. Check out this howto:

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