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SFTP (Secure File Transfer Program) is an interactive file transfer program, similar to ftp, which performs all operations over an encrypted SSH transport. It uses many features of SSH, such as public key authentication and compression.[1]


On the majority of Gentoo mediums sftp should be already installed. To verify installation run the sftp command. A usage statement should appear:

user $sftp
usage: sftp [-1246aCfpqrv] [-B buffer_size] [-b batchfile] [-c cipher]
          [-D sftp_server_path] [-F ssh_config] [-i identity_file] [-l limit]
          [-o ssh_option] [-P port] [-R num_requests] [-S program]
          [-s subsystem | sftp_server] host
       sftp [user@]host[:file ...]
       sftp [user@]host[:dir[/]]
       sftp -b batchfile [user@]host

If no usage statement is displayed then sftp is not installed or has been corrupted. Follow the installation instructions beginning at the USE flag section in the SSH article.


For having tab completion the libedit USE flag needs to be enabled.[2] For further configuration see the configuration section in the SSH article.

See also

  • SSH - An encrypted terminal program.
  • SCP - A Secure Copy Program that comes with the SSH suite.
  • CurlFtpFS - Allows the mounting of a FTP folder as a regular directory to the local directory tree.

External resources

  • The official sftp man page locally via man sftp or online at openbsd.org