Transferring Files Using SFTP and SCP

Written by jebug29

Created:  24 May 2020
Modified: 24 May 2020

SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) and SCP (secure copy protocol) are file transfer protocols intended to allow users to send and receive files over SSH. Knowing how to use them is an invaluable skill for any user who regularly connects to remote shell accounts over the internet.

Instead of being split up by operating system like the Connection Guide, this guide will be split up by GUI and commandline.

READ Notes on Quotas and Banned Content BEFORE PROCEEDING.


Notes on Quotas and Banned Content

User quotas are in place for a reason, but they don't stop users from attempting to upload files past their quota. If you are abusing Sector Disk's bandwidth by attempting to upload or download extremely large or large amounts of files, you will be given one warning before you are banned.

NSFW materials are NOT allowed on Sector Disk and neither is pirated content. If you are caught placing illegal or inappropriate content on Sector Disk, you will be banned immediately and all of your content permanently removed.

Banned users will not be refunded for any reason.

GUI Method

Open Filezilla and type in the following information to the top bar:

Server:     s
Username:   [your Sector Disk username]
Password:   [your password]
Port:       22

Press [ Enter ] or the 'Connect' button and Filezilla will connect you to your HOME directory on Sector Disk (likely /home/yourusername). From there, you should be able to drag files into/out of the file listing of your home directory.

Filezilla Window

Drag and Drop

If you would like to add these settings to Filezilla permanently, you can do so using the built-in Site Manager, accessible at File -> Site Manager or via the keyboard shortcut ([ Ctrl-S ] on Windows). Note that I do NOT recommend storing your Sector Disk password in Filezilla, as Filezilla DOES NOT ENCRYPT STORED PASSWORDS BY DEFAULT. There other are guides available on how to enable stored password encryption out there on the web, but I offer no guarantees. (Filezilla really isn't even the best client, but it is user-friendly and multiplatform, which is why I'm using it for this guide).

Filezilla Site Manager

Command Line Methods

This assumes that you have OpenSSH installed. Windows users may have this installed if they're on Windows 10, but they may not. Continue with that in mind.

There are two options here: SCP and SFTP. SFTP is a bit more user-friendly of a tool and allows you to sift through directories and such, where SCP is for more advanced users who know exactly where their files are and exactly what they want to get from or put onto a server. Although technically for more advanced users, SCP is actually easier and lighter to use for small file transfers.

Both, when used correctly, should achieve the same desired effect.

SCP (Secure Copy Protocol)

To upload a file to your home directory using SCP, simply use the scp command as follows: (Note that if your filename has spaces, you should enclose it in "quotes").

scp source_filename

If you want to upload a file using a different filename from the source filename, simply add a colon and the destination filename to the server.

scp source_filename

If you want to retrieve a file from the server, simply switch around your parameters so that the server is first.

scp output_filename

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)

Quick SFTP Command Reference:
put     Put file from local machine onto the server
get     Get file from server onto the local machine

cd      Change directory on the server
ls      List files in directory on the server

lcd     Change directory on the local machine
lls     List files in directory on the local machine

quit    Close the connection

Connecting to a server via SFTP is almost exactly the same as connecting to a server via SSH. Simply use the command sftp and enter your password and you will be connected.

SFTP Connected

At the prompt you are able to put in various commands to allow you to browse through files and upload/download files. For example, if I want to see what files are in the directory I am in, I can use the ls command, just like at the shell. If I want to download one of those files to my local machine, I can use the get command. I can change directories using the cd command.

SFTP get, ls, cd

If I want to get a list of the files on my local machine, I can run the command lls. If I want to change directories, I can do lcd.

SFTP lls, lcd

If I want to place a file onto the server, I can use the put command.

SFTP put

Note that if you're putting or getting to make sure you don't overwrite files that already exist! SFTP won't warn you!

To quit sftp, simply enter the quit command. If something goes wrong and you can't enter the quit command, use [ Control-C ] to force the program to close.