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.