Using MacOS built-in SFTP server

I love that I’m able to use my Macbook Pro to perform most tasks related to Cisco UC installs and upgrades these days.  Whether it’s using Jabber for Mac, Firefox for Finesse Desktop, or VMWare Fusion (or Firefox) for vSphere/vCenter access, it sure is a lot easier to use native Mac apps with Cisco UC than it used to be.

One of the things I often found myself going back to Windows for was a portable SFTP server application.  I’ve since configured the built-in SFTP server on my MBP and use it on almost all installs and upgrades now to install firmware upgrades and COP files, as well to perform manual pre/post-upgrade system backups.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Create a new Standard user account in MacOS to use solely for SFTP services.  I don’t want the SFTP service to have access to my files, so I’ve created a separate user and use it solely for SFTP services.

  • Enable the Remote Login sharing service and allow access to only the SFTP standard user account you just created. When I’m not using the service, I just disable remote access.

  • The root directory upon login to SFTP/SSH will be the user’s root directory, so all of that user’s folders will be visible.  I just created an SFTP directory (/Downloads/SFTP) and enter that as the SFTP target directory (Downloads/SFTP) when logging in via SFTP.  I’m sure there’s a way to restrict access in a MacOS configuration file, but I don’t need that level of customization for what I’m doing.
  • Configure the backup device, or remote SFTP target to be your MacOS SFTP server.