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Unix - Starting SFTP

This article explains how to begin a file transfer session in Unix.

The simplest way to invoke SFTP is in the form of:

sftp user@host.domain.topleveldomain

Where "user" is your account name on that machine, "host" is the machine name, "domain" is the domain name, and "topleveldomain" is the top level domain extension (.com, .edu, etc...). For example, replacing "CNetID" with your CNetID (IT Services account name), try:


If you've never connected to that host before, you'll be prompted with a message stating that the authenticity of the host can not be established and you will be presented with their RSA fingerprint. If you choose to trust the host and connect, their RSA fingerprint will be added to SFTP's list of known hosts. If in the future the RSA fingerprint changes (in normal situations it should not change), you will see a similar warning.

Once you've accepted the host, or if you've previously added it to your lost of known hosts, you will be prompted for the password of the account your connecting with. Once your password checks, the sftp session will be option, denoted by a prompt like this:


Keywords:unix, sftp, secure, file, transfer, protocol   Doc ID:15880
Owner:Larry T.Group:University of Chicago
Created:2010-11-30 19:00 CDTUpdated:2017-04-25 14:30 CDT
Sites:University of Chicago, University of Chicago - Sandbox
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