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sftp fails after upgrade to SLES 12

This document (7018647) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 1 (SLES 12 SP1)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 2 (SLES 12 SP2)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3 (SLES 12 SP3)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 4 (SLES 12 SP4)
Open Enterprise Server 2018 (OES 2018)


A 64-bit system has been upgraded from SLES 11 to SLES 12.  Afterwards, sftp sessions are disconnected after the user submits their password.  An openssh sftp client simply gives the error:
Connection closed
Or in verbose mode (sftp -vvv) it shows:
debug1: Exit status 127
Connection closed


Edit /etc/ssh/sshd_config and change the following line:
  Subsystem       sftp    /usr/lib64/ssh/sftp-server
  Subsystem       sftp    /usr/lib/ssh/sftp-server
After saving the change, execute the following to put the change into effect:
systemctl restart sshd



The 64 bit openssh package on SLES 12 SP1 and higher no longer stores it's sftp-server binary under /usr/lib64/ssh.  It now uses /usr/lib/ssh.  In a fresh install, this would be set correctly, but in an upgrade situation where older configuration files are preserved, the old location might still be specified.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7018647
  • Creation Date: 21-Feb-2017
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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