Logging in via FTP (correction: SFTP) with user sympl - is it possible?

Hi there,

First I must say it’s wonderful to see the had work that went into Symbiosis live on in Sympl!

I’ve just got one thing I can’t figure out - I can log into my Debian server (on AWS Lightsail) via SFTP as “admin” (using a key file) but cannot modify any of the directories in /srv - I also can’t log in via SFTP using the “sympl” user with the password that was set when I installed. It’s a totally “clean” VM and I’m obviously missing something here (am I too stuck in the Symbiosis way of doing things?) so some guidance would be appreciated :slight_smile:


Welcome @swchris, and thanks! :slight_smile:

A few things around FTP changed, but it’s only around the old-school FTP protocol, not affecting SFTP.

It may simply be the servers SSH configuration isn’t allowing any logins with a password - you can test this by trying to SSH to the server as the Sympl user, and checking it works, and seeing what’s output in /var/log/auth.log.

If that’s the case, you should be able to SSH in (and SFTP in) to the server with a key.

Let me know how you get on!

(Just to be clear for anyone visiting this later, ‘FTP’, as mentioned the subject, aka ‘FTP-S’, is the old-school FTP protocol that’s used to access individual sites public/ directory, whereas SFTP is basically an SSH session which acts like FTP.)

That led me to the right place @Kelduum, PasswordAuthentication was “off” in the SSH config on the server - getting used to the differences between BM’s Debian VM starting point and Amazon’s. Glad that in general everything in Debian is in the same place it was 10 years ago (yay for Open Source!)

I’ve also adjusted the site to mention SFTP (I’m so used to emailing clients and saying FTP even if I mean SFTP as it just eases the complication of the conversation when you’re talking someone through probably the only (S)FTP connection they’ll make in their lives!)

Thanks again for keeping the project alive - when I eventually got a reply from BM saying that they’d ditched Symbiosis I looked at Plesk but for what we do it’s just overkill and unnecessary overhead!

– Chris

Glad I could help!

And yes, Symbiosis deserved to live on, and Sympl is continuing the project, while staying with it’s core.

After playing with Sympl and doing a test migration from Symbiosis (and switching from Bytemark to AWS) we’re in the process of moving all of our client websites away from Bytemark/Symbiosis and onto AWS using Sympl. So far we’re looking at needing half of the server resources we needed under Bytemark to do the same job and making the switch was simple enough following the instructions on the Wiki and we’ve had no I’ll effects from either the move from Bytemark or the switch to Sympl.

I am having trouble solving this too. I have set /etc/ssh/sshd_config and ssh_config to yes instead of no yet still have problems

If I try with putty it tells me to logon as admin instead or root then logs me off.

If I try with winscp, which I really want to do I can logon as admin but that errors with “Cannot initialise SFTP protocol. Is the host running an SFTP server?” and Received too large SFTP Packet when I us the sympl user

Been pulling my hair out on this all day, and I don’t have much to start with.

auth.log doesn’t tell me much

    Nov 15 19:07:45 ip-172-26-0-55 sshd[4051]: Accepted publickey for sympl from 94.x.x.x p

ort 53290 ssh2: RSA SHA256:+xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Nov 15 19:07:45 ip-172-x-x-x sshd[4051]: pam_unix(sshd:session): session opened for user
sympl by (uid=0)
Nov 15 19:07:45 ip-172-x-x-x systemd-logind[687]: New session 103 of user sympl.
Nov 15 19:07:45 ip-172-x-x-x systemd: pam_unix(systemd-user:session): session opened for
user sympl by (uid=0)

This sounds like maybe something in the hosts default /root/.SSH/authorized_keys which gets copied to /home/sympl/.SSH/authorized_keys, which is designed to prevent loging in as root by limiting what can be run via SSH.

Check for anything unusual in that file, and potentially add another key, and you should be able to log in okay - my bet is this effects SSH as well…

Spot on sir. The part before the key was as below which I have just commented out. Many thanks

no-port-forwarding,no-agent-forwarding,no-X11-forwarding,command=“echo ‘Please login as t
he user “admin” rather than the user “root”.’;echo;sleep 10”