Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Commands Cheat Sheet

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See also: Best Free SFTP Servers SFTP

offers a secure connection for transferring files between computers with encryption. Although many people assume that the acronym stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol, it is actually the SSH File Transfer Protocol.

SFTP is a variation of File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which is one of the oldest Internet applications. Both SFTP and FTP are standard definitions, not programs. It is up to others to write an SFTP program, but they must follow the SFTP standard to make it compatible with other SFTP programs.

In a standard implementation, an SFTP program runs in the command-line interface. The utility has its own environment. So, when you enter an SFTP session, you should see the command prompt change to sftp>.

Once you have logged into an SFTP session, the normal commands for the operating system will not work. Instead, you must use the command language specified in the SFTP standard.

Most commonly used SFTP

commands Some of the most commonly used SFTP commands include:

* to return to

SFTP output. Execute commands on the underlying operating system without leaving SFTP by putting ! in front of the command, for example, !date



Not every computer

will have an SFTP program, but almost every computer has FTP. For example, FTP is included in all Microsoft operating systems, but SFTP is not. There are also GUI versions of SFTP available and they take care of all the commands available to you via interpretive buttons and menu options. Whether you prefer an SFTP GUI implementation or you want to use the system on the command line, you’ll need to find and install an SFTP utility.

Do you have a favorite SFTP program that you use a lot? Leave a message in the comments section below and let us all know.

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SFTP Command Cheat Sheet

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Frequently asked

⭐ questions about SFTP commands What

is a good SFTP server? is a cloud file management service that acts as a file transfer center that has a built-in FTP and SFTP server. Uses SFTP to securely pass files between client computers and client account storage space. You can mount an external SFTP site directly on as a folder or configure synchronizations on a schedule.

File devices

Once a file resides on the server

, it can be distributed many times without having to transfer the file again: the user emails the recipient a link to get direct secure access on the server. Start a 7-day free trial. Start the FREE 7-day trial

Another service you might look into as an alternative to is ExaVault. This provides a cloud storage area that can be subdivided into user accounts. It is also possible to set up a system account to receive files sent via SFTP – FTPS is also possible.

The platform reduces the need for file transfers because the space it offers can be used as the primary file server for your business. It is also possible to distribute files by sending a link to access rather than actually moving the file. Keeping files in one place allows all activity on them to be recorded for compliance audit. You can take a 30-day free trial of the ExaVault service. Start the FREE 30-day trial

See also: SolarWinds SFTP/SCP Server Review and SFTP Command Cheat Sheet

Image: Secure web server by RRZEicons via Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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