32

On machine A I have the folder

/home/a/

On machine B I have the folder

/home/b/

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

sftp fibon82@machineB.com
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! :)

EDIT:

I solved using scp:

scp -r /home/a/ fibon82@machineB.com:/home/b/
5
  • 2
    put -r would have worked too.
    – jhenninger
    Feb 8, 2012 at 16:07
  • 1
    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, 2012 at 0:37
  • You should post that as an answer instead.
    – N.N.
    Mar 7, 2012 at 20:20
  • Yes. Instead of EDITing your question with the answer, you should answer your own question and accept it.
    – user41608
    Jun 5, 2014 at 8:32
  • @fibon82 For up-to-date manual to OpenSSH sftp, refer to the OpenSSH project. Dec 22, 2014 at 19:56

6 Answers 6

23

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/ user@remote.host.com:/home/b/

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.

4
  • Ah thank you! :) A new thing that I learned!
    – fibon82
    Feb 9, 2012 at 0:08
  • @fibon82: You're welcome :)
    – Karolos
    Feb 9, 2012 at 6:47
  • 1
    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 :) ) Dec 18, 2012 at 22:18
  • 3
    Sadly rsync does not speak sftp-Protocol. So if you set up an sftp-chroot using ssh's build in internal-sftp then rsync fails.
    – Tino
    May 3, 2016 at 11:54
26

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

 put -r .

See man sftp.

2
  • 1
    The -r switch is supported since OpenSSH 5.4 only. Dec 22, 2014 at 19:52
  • 1
    Note that the -r switch is client side only (part of sftp command). So the server (here: receiving) side does not need OpenSSH 5.4, only the client needs to support it.
    – Tino
    May 3, 2016 at 11:57
10

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/ user@remote.host.com:/home/b/
2
  • 6
    sftp and scp are actually different protocols, both based on ssh.
    – paradroid
    Feb 8, 2012 at 16:20
  • 1
    Yes, if the server only allows sftp protocol, this answer does not work.
    – рüффп
    Dec 6, 2013 at 14:05
4

Try using

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

for more info check out: this

3
  • 2
    The -r switch is supported since OpenSSH 5.4 only. Dec 22, 2014 at 19:52
  • 1
    Note that the -r switch is client side only (part of sftp command). So the server (here: receiving) side does not need OpenSSH 5.4, only the client needs to support it. And: This should be the accepted answer, as getting (the possibly unsupported) rsync as answer to a question tagged sftp is a bit confusing.
    – Tino
    May 3, 2016 at 12:00
  • As far as I can tell, it copies a/ inside b/, but only if b/a/ already exists. Dec 10, 2019 at 14:16
0

Actually, put -r should work. But the destintion folder needs to be present on your remote host:

sftp> put -r sourcefolder
 Uploading sourcefolder/ to /user/folder
 Couldn't canonicalize: No such file or directory
 ....
sftp> mkdir sourcefolder
sftp> put -r sourcefolder
 Uploading sourcefolder/ to /user/folder/sourcefolder
 Entering sourcefolder/
 sourcefolder/file1
 sourcefolder/file2
1
-1

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

mput -rp /home/a/ /home/b/
1
  • There's no mput command in OpenSSH sftp. Maybe you refer to psftp? Dec 22, 2014 at 19:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.