If the users logs in, he starts in / of the chroot (Which is /var/jail on the real machine). I would like him to start in his home-dir. Also, he seems not to load any of his profile-files (.bash.rc etc). I followed this tutorial to create the chroot environment. This is what my /etc/passwd looks like:


this is what my /var/jail/etc/passwd file looks like:


I also found out that, if I remove

Match User test
    ChrootDirectory /var/jail
    AllowTCPForwarding no
    X11Forwarding no

from my /etc/ssh/sshd_config, the user starts in his correct home-folder and with his bash-settings loaded. However, he is able to leave the chroot-environment if I remove that part. This question I asked before is somewhat related, since I think the wrong look of the commandline is caused from the not loaded profile-files. So any ideas how to fix this?

  • Can you please provide the output of ls -la /var/jail ? – tink Oct 15 '12 at 20:13

Your configuration is correct except for a small detail: the home directory in /etc/passwd should not contain the chroot path part. Change it to:


restart sshd and try again.

From man sshd_config:


Specifies the pathname of a directory to chroot(2) to after authentication. All components of the pathname must be root-owned directories that are not writable by any other user or group. After the chroot, sshd(8) changes the working directory to the user's home directory.

That is, first sshd executes chroot (in our case chroot /var/jail), and then sshd changes the directory to the user's homedir (in our case cd /home/test - in a chrooted environment cd /var/jail/home/test wouldn't work).

If you are using Debian/Ubuntu (since the tutorial you mention is for Debian) you may want to create a file named /var/jail/etc/debian_chroot with contents "chroot", this will appear in the user prompt in parentheses like this: (chroot)test@servername:~$.

(I've duplicated your configuration on my Ubuntu 12.04 and it has worked after removing /var/jail from user test's entry in /etc/passwd.)

  • 1
    I found out that ftp and sftp did not work properly if you just write /home/test as home directory. I had to write /home/test/./ to fix the problem with ftp/sftp! Now everything works fine. – Stuffy Oct 16 '12 at 10:50

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