'sftp' is seriously lacking relative to, say, ncftp: it has no command memory, no Tab-completion of file names, and so on. Is there a non-GUI tool for SFTP that people recommend?

migrated from serverfault.com May 13 '10 at 2:52

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  • 4
    Why wouldn't you use other tools like rsync/scp instead? – Zoredache May 12 '10 at 21:36
  • 1
    Because neither rsync or scp do things like give directory listings. Your question seems to assume I already know the files I want, which is not the case. – Paul Hoffman May 16 '10 at 22:56
  • I know about scp too.. A better sftp has its uses. – ctpenrose May 8 '12 at 23:10
  • Greetings from the future! I'm often given access to sftp service that doesn't allow scp or rsync. sftp works, scp and rsync don't. – adfaklsdjf Apr 27 '18 at 20:54

LFTP can speak the SFTP protocol. If you're on Linux, it should be in your distribution's package repository (e.g. yum, apt-get, emerge, etc.).

  • 2
    debian's lftp doesn't seem to be compiled with libssl support, unfortunately. however, it shouldn't be hard to download and compile the source, adding ssl support here's some help to the OP on getting lftp working with sftp: how-to.wikia.com/wiki/How_to_use_lftp_as_a_sftp_client – cpbills May 12 '10 at 22:18
  • Nice link, cpbills. – James Sneeringer May 13 '10 at 0:30
  • James What if any advantage does it have over SFTP? @cpbills I see LFTP needs that ssl library, though it only mentions SFTP and SFTP is SSH (it doesn't mention FTPS - ftp over SSL), so i'm curious why would LFTP use an SSL library? – barlop Sep 6 '15 at 9:49
  • also, if it's 'cos e.g. openssh used the openssl library then security.stackexchange.com/questions/3424/… while openssh used to use TLS, it doesn't need to anymore, and it may be that it doesn't anymore.. security.stackexchange.com/questions/3424/… I don't know if the program you link to using openssl library is related to that.. using an ssh implementation that uses the openssl library. – barlop Sep 7 '15 at 7:01
  • @barlop As noted in the LFTP manual, FTPS support requires OpenSSL (or GNU TLS). I would guess most pre-compiled packages are linked in this way, but if you compiled it without linking to OpenSSL or GNU TLS, FTPS would presumably not be available. Regarding OpenSSH, OpenSSL provides both libssl (SSL/TLS routines) and libcrypto (hash/crypto algorithms), but OpenSSH only uses the latter. – James Sneeringer Sep 21 '15 at 14:19

With the sshfs FUSE file system you can mount an sftp-server in your local file system and then use whatever preferred tools you would use locally. I suppose most linux distros have packages for this (Debian & Ubuntu certainly do), and maybe it exists for other OS that have a FUSE implementation too.


While I've never used it myself, PSFTP from the people who make putty is available here http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html. I have however used PuTTY and PSCP, both of which were easy to use.

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