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How to Troubleshoot SFTP Connection Issues

If you are having trouble SFTPing in to your server, follow these steps one-by-one until your problem is resolved.

  1. Make sure you log in to your server's IP ADDRESS (not your domain) with the SYSTEM USER used to create your app (such as serverpilot; attempting to connect to your domain directly is one of the most common causes of SFTP connection failures.
  2. Make sure you attempt to connect over SFTP. ServerPilot does not support unsecure FTP connections.
  3. Reset your system user password in ServerPilot.
  4. Restart your SFTP client. This can reset any password caching your client might be performing.
  5. Uninstall and then reinstall your client. This will clear any hidden caching done on your local machine.
  6. Try to connect with a different SFTP client.
  7. Attempt to SSH in to your server as SYSTEM_USER@IP_ADDRESS. If you are unable to connect to your server over SSH, then password authentication may have been disabled and you will need to enable it.
  8. Attempt to connect through your provider's console. If you are unable to do so, this indicates an issue with your server that you will need to address with your provider.

Check Your SSH Config

If these above steps have failed, you might also want to check your server's sshd_config.

SSH in to your server as root and enter the following command:

grep 'AllowUsers' /etc/ssh/sshd_config

ServerPilot does not make any changes to this file by default.

If that command returns anything like "AllowUsers Root" or similar, either you or your developer have edited your SSH configuration. You will need to undo your customizations and restart SSH for your system users created by ServerPilot to begin working correctly again.


Last updated: September 27, 2016