SFTP by examples

The install base of SFTP server is massive, you can find it on almost every linux server making it the lingua franca for any file transfer related task.

What is SFTP

SFTP which stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol is a standard that defines a way by which one can access, transfer or manage some files over a network. The specificity of SFTP over other protocols is in how it leverages SSH for transport.

Beware not to confuse SFTP with FTPS or FTP which despite sounding similar are entirely different protocols that happen to share a similar use case when it comes to transfer files over a network.

Usage examples

SFTP can be use whenever you need to access / manage / transfer files. There’s so many different usage one can’t list them all but only give a few examples:

  1. transfer a log file stored on a server

  2. mount a remote filesystem onto your machine using another software like SSHFS

  3. browse through the filesystem over a server

  4. a low tech alternative to Dropbox when used with other software like Filestash:

SFTP Tooling

There’s a large ecosystem of tools from which you can use SFTP. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve, you might use:

Getting started with SFTP

The best way to get started with SFTP is to either: