File Transfer Protocol (FTP) was widely used protocol to transfer files or data remotely in unencrypted format which is not secure way to communicate. As we all know that File Transfer Protocol is not at all secure because all transmissions happens in clear text and the data can be readable by anyone during sniffing the packets on the network.
So, basically FTP can be used in limited cases or on the networks that you trust. Over the period of time SCP and SSH addresses this security ambiguity and added an encrypted secure layer while transferring data between remote computers.
SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) runs over SSH protocol on standard port 22 by default to establish a secure connection. SFTP has been integrated into many GUI tools (FileZilla,WinSCP, FireFTP etc.).
Security Warnings: Please don’t open SSH port (Secure SHell) globally as this would be a security breaches. You can only open for specific IP from where you are going to transfer or manage files on remote system or vice versa.
1. How to Connect to SFTP
By default, same SSH protocol is used to authenticate and establish a SFTP connection. To start an SFTP session, enter the username and remote hostname or IP address at the command prompt. Once authentication successful, you will see a shell with an sftp> prompt.
[root@tecmint ~]# sftp email@example.com Connecting to 18.104.22.168... firstname.lastname@example.org's password: sftp>
2. Getting Help
Once, you in the sftp prompt, check the available commands by typing ‘?‘ or ‘help‘ at command prompt.
sftp> ? Available commands: cd path Change remote directory to 'path' lcd path Change local directory to 'path' chgrp grp path Change group of file 'path' to 'grp' chmod mode path Change permissions of file 'path' to 'mode' chown own path Change owner of file 'path' to 'own' help Display this help text get remote-path [local-path] Download file lls [ls-options [path]] Display local directory listing ln oldpath newpath Symlink remote file lmkdir path Create local directory lpwd Print local working directory ls [path] Display remote directory listing lumask umask Set local umask to 'umask' mkdir path Create remote directory put local-path [remote-path] Upload file pwd Display remote working directory exit Quit sftp quit Quit sftp rename oldpath newpath Rename remote file rmdir path Remove remote directory rm path Delete remote file symlink oldpath newpath Symlink remote file version Show SFTP version !command Execute 'command' in local shell ! Escape to local shell ? Synonym for help
3. Check Present Working Directory
The command ‘lpwd‘ is used to check the Local present working directory, whereas ‘pwd‘ command is used to check Remote working directory.
sftp> lpwd Local working directory: / sftp> pwd Remote working directory: /tecmint/
- lpwd – print the current directory on your system
- pwd – print the current directory on the ftp server
4. Listing Files
Listing files and directories in local as well as remote system.
5. Upload File
Put single or multiple files in remote system.
sftp> put local.profile Uploading local.profile to /tecmint/local.profile
6. Upload Mutiple Files
Putting multiple files on in remote system.
sftp> mput *.xls
6. Download Files
Getting single or multiple files in local system.
sftp> get SettlementReport_1-10th.xls Fetching /tecmint/SettlementReport_1-10th.xls to SettlementReport_1-10th.xls
Get multiple files on a local system.
sftp> mget *.xls
Note: As we can see by default with get command download file in local system with same name. We can download remote file with different name specifying the name at the end. (This applies only while downloading single file).
7. Switching Directories
Switching from one directory to another directory in local and remote locations.
sftp> cd test sftp>
sftp> lcd Documents
8. Create Directories
Creating new directories on local and remote locations.
sftp> mkdir test
sftp> lmkdir Documents
9. Remove Directories
Remove directory or file in remote system.
sftp> rm Report.xls
sftp> rmdir sub1
Note: To remove/delete any directory from remote location, the directory must be empty.
10. Exist sFTP Shell
The ‘!‘ command drop us in local shell from where we can execute Linux commands. Type ‘exit‘ command where we can see sftp> prompt return.
sftp> ! [root@sftp ~]# exit Shell exited with status 1 sftp>
The SFTP is a very useful tool for administrating servers and transferring files to and from (Local and Remote). We hope this tuts will help you to understand the usage of SFTP in some extent.
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