This article is a quick tutorial on how to use Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) to exchange files with a server. This is useful for programming, as it allows you to code and test locally, and then send your work to the server when you are done.

Testing SSH

If you haven’t already, test that you are able to SSH into the server. SFTP uses the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol, so if you are unable to SSH you probably won’t be able to SFTP either.

ssh your_username@hostname_or_ip_address

Start SFTP Session

This uses the same syntax as SSH and opens a session in which you can transfer files.

sftp your_username@hostname_or_ip_address

To list helpful commands:


Transfer files and folders

To download a file:

get <filename>

To download a folder and its contents, use the “-r” flag (also works for uploading):

get -r <foldername>

To upload a file:

put <filename>

Change folders

To change the local folder:

lcd <path/to/folder>

To change the remote folder:

cd <path/to/folder>