Android device storage permissions required to add remote (sftp) server
Adding a remote server to VLC 3.4.3 can be extremely frustrating; a multitude of things (unfathomable to most users) must be correct:
- password is not prompted for (we still must use the 'username:password' magic documented in other issues here)
- no progress or error messages of any kind, just the three blinking dots after "Loading ..."
- remote server sftp debug skills required to understand password, PAM, login, directory fails
- as the password is in the clear, new users with limited permissions must be created to keep the server secure, requiring significant cross-user permission configuration (sftp-server is VERY picky about who gets to access what)
- and found one more today: vlc must be allowed local android device storage permissions before the remote files/directories will be registered (else the dots just spin forever)
- we should be prompted/told (via a popup?) for passwords, login progress, and especially errors.
- local storage permissions should not be required if only remote sources will be used.
What finally worked
Match User sftp PermitTTY no X11Forwarding no AllowTcpForwarding no PasswordAuthentication yes
And a trick to work around permissions for remote mounted filesystems (sshfs, others?) is to point the sftp user's home directory to the mounted directory, and then do not use ChrootDirectory in sshd_config (there appears to be a special case for the home dir).
Btw, we don't have to type in the sftp parameters every time we retry a connection; do it once, let it try to connect, then next time exit vlc and open it up again. Even though nothing about the connection is visible on the Browse page, vlc will still attempt to use the parms previously entered. In order to remove these "default" parms, we have to go to "More ..." -> SETTINGS -> Advanced -> Clear app data. AND if you enter a second set of parms vlc will try both on each app restart (I had like 20 being attempted before I realized what was happening).