ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host

mouss mouss at
Sat Mar 8 13:22:06 PST 2008

Dag-Erling Smørgrav wrote:
> mouss <mouss at> writes:
>> I found the problem:
>>    fatal: /var/empty must be owned by root and not group or world-writable.
>> I have created an account and set the home to /var/empty, but this
>> changed the owner of /var/empty. sigh.
> There is no need to create an account.

there is a need:)
just to clarify: I created an account for another service, and I 
mistakenly "reused" the empty /var/empty, but adduser changed the owner 
of this directory to the newly created user. thus the problem.

If I could make some suggestions:
- add a "fix" in /etc/rc.d/sshd to prevent such situations. if a chown 
is risky, then moving the directory and recreating it would do.
- add a warning in the documentation
- don't change owner in addusr if directory already exists
- ...

> Also, 'cd /usr/src; make hierarchy' would have fixed it for you.

thanks for the pointer. but I think an automatic fix is needed as losing 
ssh access is critical when the machine is far away.


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