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I just came across a really handy post on David Busby‘s blog: Enable logging in the SFTP subsystem - Oneiroi. From OpenSSH 4.4 on, you can pass arguments to Subsystem calls, and the sftp subsystem supports logging to an aribtrary syslog facility and priority. Simply adding a line like:

Subsystem       sftp    /usr/libexec/openssh/sftp-server -f LOCAL5 -l INFO

and the appropriate lines to your syslog config will give you a handy transfer log like:

Jul 16 09:22:25 hostname sftp-server[2058]: session opened for local user jantman from [A.B.C.D]
Jul 16 09:22:26 hostname sftp-server[2058]: open "/home/jantman/temp/sftp_test" flags WRITE,CREATE,TRUNCATE mode 0666
Jul 16 09:22:45 hostname sftp-server[2058]: close "/home/jantman/temp/sftp_test" bytes read 0 written 1464813
Jul 16 09:23:08 hostname sftp-server[2058]: session closed for local user jantman from [A.B.C.D]
Jul 16 09:27:50 hostname sftp-server[2309]: session opened for local user jantman from [A.B.C.D]
Jul 16 09:27:50 hostname sftp-server[2309]: open "/home/jantman/temp/sftp_test" flags READ mode 0666
Jul 16 09:27:54 hostname sftp-server[2309]: close "/home/jantman/temp/sftp_test" bytes read 1464813 written 0
Jul 16 09:27:54 hostname sftp-server[2309]: session closed for local user jantman from [A.B.C.D]

If you have syslog write these logs to their own file, remember to setup log rotation for them.

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any way to log SCP file transfers.


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