How to automate file transfers with paramiko and SFTP

If you need to transfer files between different machines or servers, you might want to use a secure and reliable protocol like SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). SFTP is a network protocol that allows you to access, transfer, and manage files over a secure connection. We will show you how to automate file transfers with Paramiko and SFTP in Python.

Paramiko is a Python library that implements the SSHv2 protocol. It provides a high-level interface for interacting with SSH servers and executing commands or transferring files. Paramiko also supports SFTP, which is a subsystem of SSH that handles file operations.

Step 1: Installing Paramiko

To use Paramiko and SFTP, you need to install the library first. You can do this with pip:

pip install paramiko
    

Step 2: Importing Paramiko

Once you’ve installed Paramiko, you can import the module and create an SSHClient object:

import paramiko

# Create an SSHClient object
ssh = paramiko.SSHClient()
    

Step 3: Connecting to the Remote Server

Next, you’ll need to establish an SSH connection to the remote server. You can do this using the connect method of the SSHClient object. You’ll need to provide the hostname, username, and password (or private key) for authentication:

# Connect to the remote server
ssh.connect(hostname='example.com', username='user', password='pass')
# or ssh.connect(hostname='example.com', username='user', key_filename='key.pem')
    

This code connects to the remote server with the specified hostname, username, and password. You can also use a private key file for authentication by specifying the key_filename parameter instead of a password.

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Step 4: Creating an SFTP Client

Once you have established the SSH connection, you can create an SFTP client using the open_sftp method:

# Create an SFTP client
sftp = ssh.open_sftp()
    

Step 5: Automating File Transfers

With the SFTP client, you can automate file transfers between your local machine and the remote server. Here’s an example of uploading a file to the remote server:

# Upload a file to the remote server
local_file_path = '/path/to/local/file.txt'
remote_file_path = '/path/to/remote/file.txt'
sftp.put(local_file_path, remote_file_path)
    

This code uploads a file from your local machine to the remote server. You’ll need to specify the local file path and the remote file path where you want to save the file on the server.

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Similarly, you can download a file from the remote server to your local machine:

# Download a file from the remote server
remote_file_path = '/path/to/remote/file.txt'
local_file_path = '/path/to/local/file.txt'
sftp.get(remote_file_path, local_file_path)
    

This code downloads a file from the remote server to your local machine. You’ll need to specify the remote file path and the local file path where you want to save the downloaded file.

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Step 6: Closing the SFTP Session

After you have completed your file transfers, it’s essential to close the SFTP session to release any resources:

# Close the SFTP session
sftp.close()
    

Step 7: Closing the SSH Connection

Finally, don’t forget to close the SSH connection to the remote server:

# Close the SSH connection
ssh.close()
    

Automating file transfers with Paramiko and SFTP in Python allows you to efficiently manage and synchronize files between local and remote machines or servers. By following the steps, you can establish secure connections, upload and download files, and automate file-related tasks with ease. Make sure to handle exceptions and close sessions properly to ensure a reliable and efficient file transfer automation workflow.