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Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:04

SFTP

SFTP, or secure FTP, is a program that uses SSH to transfer files. Unlike standard FTP, it encrypts both commands and data, preventing passwords and sensitive information from being transmitted in the clear over the network. It is functionally similar to FTP, but because it uses a different protocol, you can't use a standard FTP client to talk to an SFTP server, nor can you connect to an FTP server with a client that supports only SFTP.

There are two ways you can use SFTP: graphical SFTP clients and command line SFTP.

Graphical SFTP clients
Using graphical SFTP clients simplifies file transfers by allowing you to transmit files simply by dragging and dropping icons between windows. When you open the program, you will have to enter the name of the host (e.g., steel.ucs.indiana.edu) and your username and password. Two common SFTP programs are MacSFTP (for Mac OS and Mac OS X) and SSH Secure Shell (for Windows). If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at Indiana University, you can download these programs from IUware Online. To download the software, you must be connected to the Internet either from an on-campus Ethernet connection, through the IU modem pools, or using IU's remote VPN.

Command line SFTP
You can use command line SFTP from your Unix account, or from your Mac OS X or Unix workstation. To start an SFTP session, at the command prompt, enter: sftp username@host

Some standard commands for command line SFTP include:

cd:  Change the directory on the remote computer  
chmod:  Change the permissions of files on the remote computer  
chown:  Change the owner of files on the remote computer  
dir (or ls):  List the files in the current directory on the remote computer  
exit (or quit):  Close the connection to the remote computer and exit SFTP  
get:  Copy a file from the remote computer to the local computer  
help (or ?):   Get help on the use of SFTP commands  
lcd:   Change the directory on the local computer  
lls:  See a list of the files in the current directory on the local computer  
lmkdir:  Create a directory on the local computer  
ln (or symlink):  Create a symbolic link for a file on the remote computer  
lpwd:  Show the current directory (present working directory) on the local computer  
lumask:  Change the local umask value  
mkdir:  Create a directory on the remote computer  
put: Copy a file from the local computer to the remote computer  
pwd:  Show the current directory (present working directory) on the remote computer  
rename:  Rename a file on the remote host  
rm:  Delete files from the remote computer  
rmdir:  Remove a directory on the remote host (the directory usually has to be empty)  
version:  Display the SFTP version  
!:  In Unix, exit to the shell prompt, where you can enter commands. Enter exit to get back to SFTP. If you follow  !  with a command (e.g., !pwd), SFTP will execute the command without dropping you to the Unix prompt.