Frequently Asked Questions
Transferring files interactively with sftp
scp is useful, but what if we don’t know the exact location of what we want to transfer? Or
perhaps we’re simply not sure which files we want to transfer yet.
sftp is an interactive way of
downloading and uploading files. Let’s connect to a cluster, using
sftp- you’ll notice it works
the same way as SSH:
[user@laptop ~]$ sftp yourUsername@remote.computer.address
This will start what appears to be a bash shell (though our prompt says
sftp>). However we only
have access to a limited number of commands. We can see which commands are available with
Available commands: bye Quit sftp cd path Change remote 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' df [-hi] [path] Display statistics for current directory or filesystem containing 'path' exit Quit sftp get [-afPpRr] remote [local] Download file reget [-fPpRr] remote [local] Resume download file reput [-fPpRr] [local] remote Resume upload file help Display this help text lcd path Change local directory to 'path' lls [ls-options [path]] Display local directory listing lmkdir path Create local directory ln [-s] oldpath newpath Link remote file (-s for symlink) lpwd Print local working directory ls [-1afhlnrSt] [path] Display remote directory listing # omitted further output for clarity
Notice the presence of multiple commands that make mention of local and remote. We are actually connected to two computers at once (with two working directories!).
To show our remote working directory:
Remote working directory: /global/home/yourUsername
To show our local working directory, we add an
l in front of the command:
Local working directory: /home/jeff/Documents/teaching/hpc-intro
The same pattern follows for all other commands:
lsshows the contents of our remote directory, while
llsshows our local directory contents.
cdchanges the remote directory,
lcdchanges the local one.
To upload a file, we type
put some-file.txt (tab-completion works here).
sftp> put config.toml
Uploading config.toml to /global/home/yourUsername/config.toml config.toml 100% 713 2.4KB/s 00:00
To download a file we type
sftp> get config.toml
Fetching /global/home/yourUsername/config.toml to config.toml /global/home/yourUsername/config.toml 100% 713 9.3KB/s 00:00
And we can recursively put/get files by just adding
-r. Note that the directory needs to be
sftp> mkdir content sftp> put -r content/
Uploading content/ to /global/home/yourUsername/content Entering content/ content/scheduler.md 100% 11KB 21.4KB/s 00:00 content/index.md 100% 1051 7.2KB/s 00:00 content/transferring-files.md 100% 6117 36.6KB/s 00:00 content/.transferring-files.md.sw 100% 24KB 28.4KB/s 00:00 content/cluster.md 100% 5542 35.0KB/s 00:00 content/modules.md 100% 17KB 158.0KB/s 00:00 content/resources.md 100% 1115 29.9KB/s 00:00
To quit, we type