Otto Fowler commented on VFS-651:

Are we sure that this is not working correctly?

Can you post a small snippet of code or a description of how you configure can 
connect?  And what you are trying to do that does not work if you set it to 

> SftpFileSystem Should not switch to root directory when not absolutely needed
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: VFS-651
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/VFS-651
>             Project: Commons VFS
>          Issue Type: Bug
>    Affects Versions: 2.0
>            Reporter: Syed Aqeel Ashiq
>            Priority: Major
>             Fix For: 2.3
> Consider a user X only has read/write access to let's say /sftp and /sftp/abc 
> directory on a sftp server. And default directory for user is /sftp
> In this case, we have to set userDirIsRoot to false, and thus vfs will try to 
> switch to root directory, which will fail due to lack of read permission.
> This is the underlying code responsible in
> {code:java}
> org.apache.commons.vfs.provider.sftp.SftpFileSystem
> {code}
> :
> {code:java}
> Boolean userDirIsRoot = 
> SftpFileSystemConfigBuilder.getInstance().getUserDirIsRoot(getFileSystemOptions());
> String workingDirectory = getRootName().getPath();
> if (workingDirectory != null && (userDirIsRoot == null || 
> !userDirIsRoot.booleanValue())) {
>     try {
>         channel.cd(workingDirectory); 
>     } catch (SftpException e) {
>         throw new 
> FileSystemException("vfs.provider.sftp/change-work-directory.error", 
> workingDirectory);
>     }
> }{code}
> It purposelessly switches to root directory of filesystem. There is a fair 
> use-case that root directory doesn't have read access.
> *Possible Fix:* It should not switch to root directory, rather it should 
> switch to actual final directory. This approach would be the safest. E.g. if 
> the needed directory is '/sftp/abc' then it can switch to that directory in 
> above code, rather than switching to root.
> Please also see related SO question:
> https://stackoverflow.com/questions/48709971/why-apache-vfs-sftp-tries-to-switch-to-root-directory-even-when-not-needed

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