Posted on 2004-09-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-21

(i) What is the differnece between an FTP and SFTP? (Can u make the explanation bit simpler since i am not that technically sound in Unix)

(ii) What are the process and modifications to be done while converting from the FTP to SFTP??

Thanks in Advance.
Question by:delphipal
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Accepted Solution

avizit earned 168 total points
ID: 11976021
in simple terms

-- > ftp everything is passed as clear text , even your password ...

--> sftp everything is encrypted
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Expert Comment

ID: 11976046
to use sftp you have to download/install a sftp client which you can get from openssh suit , (  )
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Expert Comment

ID: 11976111
This should be useful too
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Author Comment

ID: 11976665
U haven't told me the process involved in converting the FTP program's to SFTP and also constraints in the SFTP??
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Expert Comment

ID: 11976800
to start using sftp instead of ftp you just have to install sftp client and

instead of doing a
  ftp hostname

you do a

sftp hostname

i.e in all scripts/programs you have you just need to change all 'ftp' to 'sftp'
LVL 62

Expert Comment

ID: 11979353
If you script ftp via expect or so - note that sftp may not have mget, and always uses full command , i.e get, and not g, quit and not qui etc...
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 11986266
There's a lot of differences between FTP and SFTP behind the covers, however from a end user point of view, there's very little difference in how they work, with the exception of automating scripts.

With FTP you can use .netrc files which SFTP doesn't support (AFAIK) and with SFTP you can use keys to automate logins.
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

yuzh earned 166 total points
ID: 11986665
Just add a bit more infor.

the plain text FTP shipped with *nix by default, sftp is third party package (normally
comes with secure shell), and the sys adm have to install it on the system (most
of the *nix system have them install, to use sftp client, the secure shell server (sshd)
have to running on the sftp server.

ssh/sftp download, FAQ docs:
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

Gns earned 166 total points
ID: 11989083
I'm not sure this piece of trivia has been mentioned, but... Although the name sftp in some ways imply a relationship with ftp, there really are none (other than similarities in the command interface, and that both are used to transfer files). Sftp is actually implemented through scp (the rcp replacement of the ssh suite). That is, sftp is more like a wrapper around scp. So in an automation script it'd often make more sense to use scp directly.

-- Glenn

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