Download and Upload Files with SFTP Securely

Linux Network

SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) is secured protocol to transfer files between local and remote server. To required SSH server running on the remote system. This protocol encrypts the transfer of data between local and remote system. As SFTP provides secure data transfer, so we recommend it over FTP protocol.

SFTP is recommended but in case you only have the FTP server running on remote, use below link for FTP access.

Connect to SFTP Server:

SFTP connects to ssh server. You must have the ssh server running on the remote system. Use the following command to connect example.com server as user rahul.

$ sftp [email protected]

to connect with different port

$ sftp -P 2222 [email protected]

After successful authentication, you will get a sftp prompt. Where you can download or upload files securely. To get available commands type help on sftp prompt.

sftp> help 

Available commands:
bye                         Quit sftp
cd path                     Change remote 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'
df [-hi] [path]             Display statistics for current directory or
...
...

Change Local and Remote Directory

First check your local and remote server directory using following commands.

sftp> !pwd
/home/ubuntu

sftp> pwd
/home/rahul
  • !pwd – Used to check current directory on local system
  • pwd – Used to check current directory on remote system

Now navigate between directories on local and remote sftp system.

sftp> lcd /home/ubuntu/Downloads

sftp> cd Uploads
  • lcd – Used to navigate between directories on local system
  • cd – Used to navigate between directories on remote system

Download Files from SFTP

Use get command to download file from sftp server to local system drive. Use lcdto change location of local download folder. Below command will download remotefile.txtfrom remote system to local system.

sftp> get remotefile.txt

To download files and folders recursively use -r switch with get command. Below command will download folder remotedir from remote system to local system recursively.

sftp> get -r remotedir

Upload Files to SFTP

Use put command to upload a file from local system to remote system. Use cd to change location of remote upload folder first. the below command will upload localfile.txtfrom local system to remote sftp system.

sftp> put localfile.txt

To upload files and folders recursively use -r switch with put command. Below command will upload directory localdir and all files and sub directories to remote server.

sftp> put -r localdir

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