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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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sftp [options] host

An interactive file transfer program, similar to ftp except that it uses ssh to perform file transfers securely. sftp connects to host and logs in, prompting for a password if required. The host can be specified in the following ways:

host [user@] host[:file [file] ...] [user@] host[:dir[/] ]

If user is specified, that username is used for the login. If any files are specified, the sftp client automatically retrieves them after the user has been authenticated, and then exits. If a directory dir is specified, the client starts in that directory on the remote host. sftp is part of the OpenSSH suite of network tools.



Use SSH1. The default is to use SSH2.

-b file

Run in batch mode, taking commands from the specified file. Requires the use of a noninteractive authentication mechanism.

-B bytes

Specify the size of the buffer sftp uses for file transfers. Default is 32768 bytes.


Enable compression (uses ssh -C).

-F file

Use file as the ssh configuration file instead of the default system configuration file. The systemwide file is usually /etc/ssh/ssh_config, and per-user files are $HOME/.ssh/config.


Pass an option to ssh. The passed option is in the format used by ssh_config(5) (e.g., -oPORT=nn, where nn is the port number). -o can appear more than once to pass multiple options to ssh. This option is useful for passing options that don't have an equivalent sftp command-line option.

-P server_path

Connect directly to the local sftp server specified in server_path. Useful for debugging.

-R num

Specify the number of requests that may be outstanding at any time (default 16).

-s subsys|server_path

Specify the SSH2 subsystem or path to the sftp server on the remote system. Specifying the path is useful for using sftp via SSH1 or if the remote sshd does not have an sftp subsystem configured.

-S program

Specify the name of a program that understands ssh options and that you want to use for the encrypted connection.


Raise the logging level.

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