Uppsala Multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Computational Science

Basic SFTP commands

(From http://www.tecmint.com/sftp-command-examples/)

1. Getting Help

Once, you in the sftp prompt, check the available commands by typing ‘?‘ or ‘help‘ at command prompt. This will print out a list of the available commands and give a short description of them. We'll cover the most common ones in this guide.

sftp> ?
Available commands:
cd path                       Change remote directory to 'path'

2. 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

3. Listing Files

Listing files and directories in local as well as remote system.

On Remote

sftp> ls

On Local

sftp> lls

4. Upload File

Put single or multiple files in remote system.

sftp> put local.profile

Uploading local.profile to /tecmint/local.profile

5. Upload Mutiple Files

Putting multiple files on in remote system.

sftp> mput *.xls

Another alternative to uploading many files is to tar and/or compress the files to a singel file before uploading. The file transfer will stop in between every file, so the more file you have to upload the more stops it will make. This can have a dramatic impact on transfer speed if there are 1000s of files that you want to transfer. Running tar and/or zip on the files before transfering them will packages all the files into a single file, so there will be no stops at all during the transfer.

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.

On Remote

sftp> cd test

On Local

sftp> lcd Documents

8. Create Directories

Creating new directories on remote and local 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. Exit 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