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Using SFTP

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, has been moving files from computer to computer since the earliest days of the Internet. To cope with today's more dangerous Internet FTP has added encryption, becoming Secure FTP or SFTP. But the commands remain the same.

There are a wide variety of SFTP clients that will take care of all the actual commands for you, giving you a drag-and-drop interface similar to Windows. For Windows we suggest SecureFX. But SFTP is not difficult to use. In fact, if you're comfortable with Linux you'll find that you only need to learn a few extra commands.

To run SFTP from one of the SSCC Linux servers, type

> sftp server 

Where server should be replace by the name of the server you wish to connect to.

The SSCC maintains two FTP servers: connects to the Linux file system; connects to the Windows network. In both cases once you log in your remote directory will start out as your home directory.

 SSCC FTP Server Addresses

Note that Linstat does not accept FTP connections. Use instead.

SFTP Commands

The following basic commands are probably all you'll need to use SFTP.

 cd  directory  

Changes the remote directory to the the directory you enter. Note that Windows servers will generally allow you to use the Linux style slash in path names (directory/subdirectory), but Linux servers will not allow you to use the Windows style backslash ( directory\subdirectory).

 lcd  directory  

Changes the local directory to the directory you enter.


Lists the tables of the remote directory

 get  filename  

Copies a file from the remote directory to the local directory. Along with put, this is FTP's raison d'etre. Note that if you already have a file with the same name it will be overwritten without warning, so be careful!

 put  filename  

Copies a file from the local directory to the remote directory. The same warning applies.

 mget  filename  

Works like  get, except that you can use wildcards (*, etc.) to specify multiple files.

 mput  filename  

Works like put, except that you can use wildcards (*, etc.) to specify multiple files.


Lists all the commands available in FTP, but doesn't explain them. Thus it's mostly useful as a reminder.


Quits FTP (exit or logout won't work).

Keywords:sftp ftp secure securefx file transfer protocol   Doc ID:102636
Owner:Dan B.Group:Social Science Computing Cooperative
Created:2020-05-31 09:17 CSTUpdated:2022-07-05 13:35 CST
Sites:Social Science Computing Cooperative
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