Specify permissions or setting umask for files uploaded through SFTP

Tags: file permissionssftpumask

Published on: October 21, 2014 by Vipin R.N

Specify  permissions or setting umask for files uploaded through SFTP


Umask is used to remove additional permissions of files which are copied to the server. If the file has 777 permission on the source and uploaded via sftp using -p or -P option, the permission will be preserved. It can be used in SFTP to change permissions of files.

For SFTP change permissions after uploading the file, we can add a umask for the sftp subsystem.

This can be used to prevent setting executable or world writable permissions when files are uploaded using SFTP. By default, FTP changes the permission to 644 on upload and SFTP doesn’t.

You can use the following steps to use umask in removing the additional permissions of files once  they are uploaded through SFTP

1. Edit the file /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config

2. Add the following under “# override default of no subsystems” :

 Subsystem sftp /bin/sh -c ‘umask <umask>; /usr/libexec/openssh/sftp-server’ 


Subsystem sftp /usr/libexec/openssh/sftp-server -u <umask> 

where <umark> is the umask to be set.

3. Then restart the SSH daemon.

 /etc/init.d/sshd restart 

Note: The umask settings only tries to remove permissions, not to add them.


The file gw80 was uploaded before setting the umask and its permission on the source was 664.

File gw80_1 was uploaded after setting up the umask. The permission of the file was 664 in source and was changed to 644 after upload.

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Category : Howtos, Linux, Security, Troubleshooting

Vipin R.N

Vipin R.N

Vipin is a no-nonsense, disciplined guy who ensures that everything is carried out with the highest level of perfection. Apart from his great coding skills, he is quite interested in advanced server administration, issue analysis, documentation and training. In-depth knowledge in international politics, ammunition and automobiles makes this hard core Manchester United fan, one of the most referenced personalities in the entire team.

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