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PowerShell SFTP Hacks: Master Secure File Transfers in Seconds

Whether you are a system administrator, developer, or IT professional, understanding how to utilize PowerShell SFTP file transfers opens up a world of possibilities for efficient data exchange and system integration. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover the power of PowerShell in simplifying file transfer via SFTP.

Methods for File Transfer using PowerShell SFTP

  1. Using the Posh-SSH Module
    • Downloading from SSH servers
    • Uploading to SSH server
    • Disconnecting from Posh-SSH servers
  2. Using the WinSCP Module
    • Inspecting Files
    • Uploading Files
    • Downloading Files
    • Disconnecting from WinSCP session

Using the Posh-SSH Module

Downloading from SSH server

To download files from an SSH server using the “Posh-SSH” module in PowerShell, follow these steps:

  • Open PowerShell and import the “Posh-SSH” module by running the following command and pressing Enter:
Import-Module -Name Posh-SSH
Downloading from SSH server
  • Establish an SSH session with the server using the New-SSHSession cmdlet. Replace SSHServer with the hostname or IP address of the SSH server, and provide your SSH server credentials when prompted:
$session = New-SSHSession -ComputerName SSHServer -Credential (Get-Credential)
Downloading from SSH server
  • Use the Get-SCPFile cmdlet to download files from the SSH server to your local machine. Specify the remote file path on the server and the local destination path where you want to save the downloaded file. For example:
Get-SCPFile -SessionId $session.SessionId -RemoteFile "/path/to/remote/file" -LocalFile "C:\path\to\local\destination"
Downloading from SSH server

Replace /path/to/remote/file with the actual path of the file on the SSH server, and C:\path\to\local\destination with the desired path on your local machine.

  • After you have downloaded the files, close the SSH session using the Remove-SSHSession cmdlet:
Remove-SSHSession -SessionId $session.SessionId
Downloading from SSH server

By utilizing the “Posh-SSH” module, you can securely download files from an SSH server directly within PowerShell.

Uploading to SSH server

To upload files to an SSH server using the “Posh-SSH” module in PowerShell, you can follow these steps:

  • Open PowerShell and import the “Posh-SSH” module by running the following command and pressing Enter:
Import-Module -Name Posh-SSH
Uploading to SSH server
  • Establish an SSH session with the server using the New-SSHSession cmdlet. Replace SSHServer with the hostname or IP address of the SSH server, and provide your SSH server credentials when prompted:
$session = New-SSHSession -ComputerName SSHServer -Credential (Get-Credential)
Uploading to SSH server
  • Use the Send-SCPFile cmdlet to upload files to the SSH server. Specify the local file path on your machine and the remote destination path on the server. For example:
Send-SCPFile -SessionId $session.SessionId -LocalFile "C:\path\to\local\file" -RemotePath "/path/on/server"
Uploading to SSH server

Replace "C:\path\to\local\file" with the actual path of the file on your local machine, and "/path/on/server" with the desired path on the SSH server.

  • After you have uploaded the files, close the SSH session using the Remove-SSHSession cmdlet:
Remove-SSHSession -SessionId $session.SessionId
Uploading to SSH server

Disconnecting from Posh-SSH Session

To disconnect or close an active “Posh-SSH” session in PowerShell, follow these steps:

Get-SSHSession
Disconnecting from Posh-SSH Session

This will display a list of active SSH sessions along with their session IDs.

  • Once you have identified the session ID, use the Remove-SSHSession cmdlet to disconnect from the session. Replace SessionID with the actual session ID you obtained from the previous step. Run the following command:
Remove-SSHSession -SessionId SessionID
Disconnecting from Posh-SSH Session

For example, if the session ID is 1, the command will be:

Remove-SSHSession -SessionId 1
Disconnecting from Posh-SSH Session
  • To confirm that you have successfully disconnected from the session, you can use the Get-SSHSession cmdlet again. Running Get-SSHSession after disconnecting should not display the session you just closed.

Using the WinSCP Module

Inspecting Files 

To inspect files using the WinSCP module in PowerShell, you can follow these steps:

Add-Type -Path "C:\path\to\WinSCPnet.dll"
Inspecting Files 

Replace "C:\path\to\WinSCPnet.dll" with the actual path where you installed the WinSCP .NET Assembly.

  • To establish a connection to the SSH server, use the SessionOptions object to set up the session options. Here’s an example of how to connect:
$sessionOptions = New-Object WinSCP.SessionOptions -Property @{
    Protocol = [WinSCP.Protocol]::Sftp
    HostName = "SSHServer"
    UserName = "username"
    Password = "password"
}
$session = New-Object WinSCP.Session
$session.Open($sessionOptions)
Inspecting Files 

Replace “SSHServer” with the hostname or IP address of the SSH server, and “username” and “password” with your SSH server credentials.

  • Inspect Files: Once connected, you can use various methods provided by the WinSCP module to inspect files. For example, to list the contents of a remote directory, you can use the Get-ChildItem method:
$remotePath = "/path/to/remote/directory"
$files = $session.EnumerateRemoteFiles($remotePath, $Null, [WinSCP.EnumerationOptions]::None)
foreach ($fileInfo in $files) {
    Write-Host "File Name: $($fileInfo.Name)"
    Write-Host "File Size: $($fileInfo.Length)"
    Write-Host "File Permissions: $($fileInfo.FilePermissions)"
    Write-Host "------------------------------------"
}
Inspecting Files 

Replace "/path/to/remote/directory" with the path of the directory on the SSH server, you want to inspect. This code snippet retrieves file information from the remote directory and displays details such as file name, size, and permissions.

  • After you have finished inspecting the files, close the session to disconnect from the SSH server:
$session.Dispose()

By following these steps and utilizing the WinSCP module, you can connect to an SSH server, inspect remote files, and retrieve file information directly within PowerShell.

Uploading Files 

To upload files using the WinSCP module in PowerShell, you can follow these steps:

  • First, download and install the WinSCP .NET Assembly from the official WinSCP website. Choose the appropriate version that matches your system architecture.
  • After installing the WinSCP .NET Assembly, open PowerShell and import the assembly into your session by running the following command:
Add-Type -Path "C:\path\to\WinSCPnet.dll"
image 80

Replace "C:\path\to\WinSCPnet.dll" with the actual path where you installed the WinSCP .NET Assembly.

  • To establish a connection to the SSH server, set up the session options using the SessionOptions object. Here’s an example of how to connect:
$sessionOptions = New-Object WinSCP.SessionOptions -Property @{
    Protocol = [WinSCP.Protocol]::Sftp
    HostName = "SSHServer"
    UserName = "username"
    Password = "password"
}
$session = New-Object WinSCP.Session
$session.Open($sessionOptions)
image 81

Replace "SSHServer" with the hostname or IP address of the SSH server, and "username" and "password" with your SSH server credentials.

  • Once connected, you can use the PutFiles method provided by the WinSCP module to upload files. Here’s an example:
$sessionOptions = New-Object WinSCP.SessionOptions -Property @{
    Protocol = [WinSCP.Protocol]::Sftp
    HostName = "SSHServer"
    UserName = "username"
    Password = "password"
}
$session = New-Object WinSCP.Session
$session.Open($sessionOptions)

Replace "C:\path\to\local\file.txt" with the path of the file you want to upload from your local machine, and "/path/on/server/file.txt" with the desired path on the SSH server.

  • After the file upload is complete, close the session to disconnect from the SSH server:
$session.Dispose()

Downloading Files 

To upload files using the WinSCP module in PowerShell, you can follow these steps:

  • Install the WinSCP .NET Assembly: First, download and install the WinSCP .NET Assembly from the official WinSCP website. Choose the appropriate version that matches your system architecture.
  • After installing the WinSCP .NET Assembly, open PowerShell and import the assembly into your session by running the following command:
Add-Type -Path "C:\path\to\WinSCPnet.dll"
image 82

Replace "C:\path\to\WinSCPnet.dll" with the actual path where you installed the WinSCP .NET Assembly.

  • To establish a connection to the SSH server, set up the session options using the SessionOptions object. Here’s an example of how to connect:
$sessionOptions = New-Object WinSCP.SessionOptions -Property @{
    Protocol = [WinSCP.Protocol]::Sftp
    HostName = "SSHServer"
    UserName = "username"
    Password = "password"
}
$session = New-Object WinSCP.Session
$session.Open($sessionOptions)
image 83

Replace "SSHServer" with the hostname or IP address of the SSH server, and "username" and "password" with your SSH server credentials.

  • Once connected, you can use the PutFiles method provided by the WinSCP module to upload files. Here’s an example:
$localPath = "C:\path\to\local\file.txt"
$remotePath = "/path/on/server/file.txt"

$transferResult = $session.PutFiles($localPath, $remotePath)

foreach ($transfer in $transferResult.Transfers) {
    if ($transfer.Error -eq $Null) {
        Write-Host "File $($transfer.FileName) uploaded successfully"
    } else {
        Write-Host "Error uploading file $($transfer.FileName): $($transfer.Error.Message)"
    }
}
image 84

Replace "C:\path\to\local\file.txt" with the path of the file you want to upload from your local machine, and "/path/on/server/file.txt" with the desired path on the SSH server.

  • After the file upload is complete, close the session to disconnect from the SSH server:
$session.Dispose()

Disconnecting from WinSCP Session

To disconnect from a WinSCP session in PowerShell, you can follow these steps:

  • To disconnect from the WinSCP session, use the Dispose method on the session object. This will release the resources associated with the session. Here’s an example:
$session.Dispose()
Disconnecting from WinSCP Session
  • To confirm that you have successfully disconnected from the session, you can check if the session object is still available. Running any command related to the session after disconnecting should result in an error, indicating that the session has been closed.

By following these steps, you can disconnect from a WinSCP session in PowerShell. This ensures that the resources are released properly and terminates the connection to the SSH server.

In conclusion, PowerShell provides a robust and versatile platform for simplifying file transfers via SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). With the assistance of modules like Posh-SSH and WinSCP, PowerShell empowers users to automate file transfer tasks, streamline workflows, and enhance productivity.