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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 1.5 - Remote Networking Tools: SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

In the realm of remote networking tools, the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) provides a secure and reliable method for transferring files between local and remote systems. Built on top of the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol, SFTP allows you to securely transfer files, manage directories, and perform various file operations over an encrypted connection. It offers a command-line interface similar to traditional FTP, making it a popular choice for secure file transfers.

This guide will provide an overview of SFTP, explain its purpose, and demonstrate its usage for remote file transfers. We will explore different commands and concepts, showcasing how SFTP can enhance your remote networking capabilities.

SFTP Usage

Connecting to a Remote Server

To connect to a remote server using SFTP, you can use the following command:

sftp user@remote

Replace user with the remote username and remote with the hostname or IP address of the remote server. Once you execute the command, SFTP will establish a secure connection to the remote server.

Once connected to the remote server, you can navigate directories using commands similar to those in a typical shell. Here are some commonly used commands:

  • ls: List files and directories in the current directory.
  • cd: Change the current directory.
  • pwd: Display the current working directory.
  • mkdir: Create a new directory.
  • rmdir: Remove a directory (must be empty).
  • rm: Remove a file.
  • get: Download a file from the remote server to the local system.
  • put: Upload a file from the local system to the remote server.

Downloading a File

To download a file from the remote server to your local system, you can use the get command:

get remote_file local_destination

Replace remote_file with the path to the file on the remote server and local_destination with the desired location on your local system. For example:

get /path/to/remote/file.txt /path/to/local/

This command will download the file file.txt from the remote server and save it to the specified local destination.

Uploading a File

To upload a file from your local system to the remote server, you can use the put command:

put local_file remote_destination

Replace local_file with the path to the file on your local system and remote_destination with the desired location on the remote server. For example:

put /path/to/local/file.txt /path/to/remote/

This command will upload the file file.txt from your local system to the specified remote destination.

Closing the SFTP Session

Once you have completed your file transfer operations, you can close the SFTP session using the exit command or by pressing Ctrl + D.


The SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) offers a secure and efficient method for remote file transfers and file management. In this guide, we covered the basics of using SFTP, including connecting to a remote server, navigating directories, downloading files, and uploading files.

SFTP's integration with the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol ensures encrypted and secure file transfers, making it an ideal choice for remote networking tasks. Its command-line interface provides a familiar environment for users accustomed to traditional FTP.

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