Symlinks & chroot - Is it Possible?

Mark admin at
Sat Apr 3 12:13:56 PST 2004

Drew Tomlinson wrote:

> I have a few users that I wish to allow FTP access on my
> 4.9-RELEASE-p4 system.  I've setup their accounts and added them to
> /etc/ftpchroot to lock them into their login directories.
> They are in the standard /home/user dirs.
> However, I want all of them to have access to another directory
> (/ftp/share) that is setup read-only. I tried adding a symlink to
> /ftp/share but I've found this doesn't work when the user is chrooted.

True. A symlink cannot traverse 'up' the chroot; only a hardlink can (to a
file). Personally, I would not use something as beta as "mount_null". When
the man pages say: "(READ: IT DOESN'T WORK)", I would stay clear of it.

There are other ways, though. You say your chroot is at:


I'm not necessarily sure whether the root-partition is the best place for a
chroot; but working from that fact, you could "reverse" the condition.
Instead of trying to link to /ftp/share, from within the chroot, you could
do the opposite: first create the following directory:


Then, in /ftp/, symlink to within the chrooted dir:

    share -> /etc/ftpchroot/ftp/share

Then "/ftp/share" is accessible from both the 'real' and the chrooted
environment, pointing to the same directory.

- Mark

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