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On machine A I have the folder


On machine B I have the folder


I wish transfer all files, directories and sub-directories of /home/a in /home/b with sftp On machine A I tried the commands:

put /home/a/* /home/b/

but it doesn't work, i get the error message: "skipping non-regular file /home/a/a1"... [a1 is a sub-directory of a]
How could I modify the put instruction?

Thanks! :)


I solved using scp:

scp -r /home/a/
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migrated from Feb 8 '12 at 13:57

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put -r would have worked too. – WakiMiko Feb 8 '12 at 16:07
Ok but how could I know that for "put command" the option -r is available? If I look here only the flag -P is described... The same in the manual Thanks! :) – fibon82 Feb 9 '12 at 0:37
You should post that as an answer instead. – N.N. Mar 7 '12 at 20:20
Yes. Instead of EDITing your question with the answer, you should answer your own question and accept it. – user41608 Jun 5 '14 at 8:32
@fibon82 For up-to-date manual to OpenSSH sftp, refer to the OpenSSH project. – Martin Prikryl Dec 22 '14 at 19:56
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Although not strictly equivalent to sftp, rsync is a very powerful alternative for scp and sftp, especially when updating the copies from machine A to machine B, as it doesn't copy the files that haven't been altered; it's also able to remove files from machine B that have been deleted from machine A (only when it's told to of course).

In your case, the syntax would be

rsync -zrp /home/a/

The -r option is for recursively copying files, -z enables compression during the transfer, and -p preserves the file permissions (file creation, edit, etc.) when copying, which is something that scp doesn't do AFAIK. Many more options are possible; as usual, read the man pages.

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Ah thank you! :) A new thing that I learned! – fibon82 Feb 9 '12 at 0:08
@fibon82: You're welcome :) – Karolos Feb 9 '12 at 6:47
i love you, i synced 400MB of data in 1 minute by just using your code. I would add you should also use --progress otherwise you'll be staring at nothing without knowing what's happening (and at what speed :) ) – Sandro Antonucci Dec 18 '12 at 22:18

scp (secure copy) is the Linux de facto for transferring files over a secure tunnel. In your case you would want to use the recursive switch, e.g.:

scp -r /home/a/
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sftp and scp are actually different protocols, both based on ssh. – paradroid Feb 8 '12 at 16:20
Yes, if the server only allows sftp protocol, this answer does not work. – ruffp Dec 6 '13 at 14:05

In sftp this command recursively uploads content of the current directory to the remote current directory:

 put -r .

See man sftp.

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The -r switch is supported since OpenSSH 5.4 only. – Martin Prikryl Dec 22 '14 at 19:52

Try using

put -r /home/a/ /home/b/

for more info check out: this

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The -r switch is supported since OpenSSH 5.4 only. – Martin Prikryl Dec 22 '14 at 19:52

In my case rsync wasn't possible so I used:

mput -rp /home/a/ /home/b/
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There's no mput command in OpenSSH sftp. Maybe you refer to psftp? – Martin Prikryl Dec 22 '14 at 19:52

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