The SSHD service while restarting, looks for the “/var/empty/sshd/etc” directory which contains a symlink to the ‘localtime’ file. If the file doesn’t exist, it results in a “cannot create symbolic link `/var/empty/sshd/etc’: No such file or directory” error message.

The complete error message is as follows:

    -bash-3.2# service sshd restart cp: cannot create symbolic link 
`/var/empty/sshd/etc': No such file or directory Starting sshd: Missing 
privilege separation directory: /var/empty/sshd [FAILED]

The solution is to create the “/var/empty/sshd/etc” directory and then create a symlink for localtime file.

    # mkdir /var/empty/sshd/etc

    # cd /var/empty/sshd/etc

    # ln -s /etc/localtime localtime

Once done, you should be able to restart the sshd service.

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