SFTP Command to Transfer Files on Remote Servers

SSH File Transfer Protocol, a network protocol used for secure file transfer over secure shell.

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.).

Below are the most used commands for SFTP:

1. Connect to SFTP

To connect with SFTP we can use below commands.

[root@salayhin ~]# sftp salayhin@

Connecting to
tecmint@'s password:

If we are using AWS we can add the pem file location with this command.

[root@salayhin ~]# sftp -i PemFile.pem salayhin@

2. Getting Help

To get help we can use below command.

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. Finding 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.

On Remote

sftp> ls

On Local

sftp> lls

5. Upload File
Put single or multiple files in remote system.

sftp> put profile.txt
Uploading profile.txt to /salayhin/profile.txt

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 /salayhin/reporting.xls to reporting.xls
Get multiple files on a local system.

sftp> mget *.xls

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 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

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 is very powerfull for upload and download files with a more secured way.


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