I have a server which I administer. It has port 22 access to many machines. I want to use it as a bastion host for some users. The catch is that I want each user on my server to have its own whitelist of IPs/addresses that it can SSH to.

For example, let us say that my machine M has access to servers S1, S2, S3,... S8. I have 3 users, A, B and C on the machine M. I want A to be able to SSH only to S2, B to be able to SSH only to S1, S5 and S6, and C to be able to SSH to S2, S3, S4, S5 and S8.

How do I accomplish this?

2 Answers 2


On the destination server you could restrict SSH access by username in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file, but I don't think that it what you are looking for here.

On the source machine you can try to use the iptables "owner" module to do this. It might be some maintenance work but it would do the trick. It checks the UID of the user and than allows (or rejects) the connection.

Lets say that the UID of your users are 1, 2 and 3. user A is allowed to SSH to, user B to and user C to

iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --owner-uid 1 -d -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --owner-uid 1 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP
iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --owner-uid 2 -d -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --owner-uid 2 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP
iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --owner-uid 3 -d -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --owner-uid 3 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP

to keep it a bit more "manageable" you could create a "chain" per user, and define all his allowed accesses in there.

Create the chains:

iptables -N USER1
iptables -N USER2
iptables -N USER2

Forward the outgoing traffic from the users to the chain:

iptables -A output -m owner --owner-uid 1 -J USER1
iptables -A output -m owner --owner-uid 2 -J USER2
iptables -A output -m owner --owner-uid 3 -J USER3

Add rules to each user his chain:

iptables -A USER1 -d -p tcp --dport 22 -m comment --comment "allow ssh to" -j ACCEPT
iptables -A USER1 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP
iptables -A USER1 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A USER2 -d -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A USER2 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP
iptables -A USER3 -d -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A USER3 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP

check access of a user (display chain)

iptables -L USER1

The owner module also works with gid's:

iptables -A USER3 -m owner --owner-gid 3 -p tcp --dport 22 -j DROP
  • Nice tip. The CLI switch, however, should read --uid-owner Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 9:27

You should be able to do accomplish that with a iptable filter (owner match) to restrict per user network access. See the "how to" below.


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    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 15:35

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