SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Clients

Mac OS X already includes an SFTP Client. To use it just open a Terminal window and run the sftp command.

In order to connect with AvesTerra file transfer servers, you will also need to configure an SSH key-pair to use to secure the connection. If you do not already have an existing SSH key-pair, perform the following steps to generate one:

  1. Open a Terminal window (Applications->Utilities->Terminal)
  2. Type ssh-keygen -b 2048 and press enter
  3. You will be prompted for a location to save your private key
    Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/username/.ssh/id_rsa):
  4. Press enter to accept the default location
  5. You will be prompted to enter a passphrase (twice) for your new private key. We do recommend that you use a passphrase to secure your key.
    Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
    Enter same passphrase again:
  6. It should complete the generation of your private and public key files.
    Your identification has been saved in /Users/username/.ssh/id_rsa
    Your public key has been saved in /Users/username/.ssh/
  7. You now have a private and public key-pair. The id_rsa file is your private key. You should *NEVER* provide the private key (id_rsa) to anyone. The file is your public key. In order to gain access to AvesTerra file transfer servers, you should provide the file/contents to Avesterra administrators.

In order to use SFTP on Windows, you can download the Putty SFTP (PSFTP) client. In addition, you will need PuttyGen executable in order to generate an SSH key-pair.

  1. Connect to using a web browser
  2. Under Binaries, look at the first section labeled “The latest release version
  3. Download the following three programs listed under “For Windows on Intel x86“:
    • PSCP:  pscp.exe
    • PSFTP: psftp.exe
    • PuTTYgen: puttygen.exe
  4. Save/copy these files to a convenient location in your PATH or where you can easily click on them to run them.
  5. Now you need to generate a new SSH key-pair. You will use the puttygen.exe binary to do this.
  6. Click on the puttygen.exe executable
  7. Verify the default Parameters are selected
    • Type of key to generate: SSH-2 RSA
    • Number of bits in a generated key: 2048
  8. Click on the Generate button
  9. Move your mouse over the blank area in the window to generate randomness. The progress bar should increment as you do so.
  10. Enter a passphrase in the “Key passphrase” field
  11. Re-enter your passphrase in the “Confirm Passphrase” field
  12. Click on the Save private key button
  13. Select a custom filename (e.g. id_rsa ) for the private key. It will use .ppk as the default file extension
  14. Click on the Save public key button
  15. Select a custom filename (e.g. ) for the public key.
  16. Copy the text in the section “Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file”
  17. Provide this copied text to the Avesterra administrators.
  18. You can now connect to the remote AvesTerra server using your SSH key-pair
  19. Open a command prompt window
  20. Run pscp.exe or psftp.exe with the -i option to use the SSH key-pair
    e.g.  pscp.exe -i </path/to/id_rsa.ppk> <local_source_file> remote_username@remotehost:/private/
  21. Note: the first time you connect to a host, it will prompt you to store the host key in your cache. Answer y when prompted.
  22. Enter the passphrase for your SSH private key.