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I need to transfer a large number of files over SFTP (only between Solaris servers) which takes a very long time. I cannot keep my PC on for this duration. I tried:

nohup sftp server1

While the shell is open, I see files are downloaded. When I close the shell it stops. In ps -ef I don't see the sftp process. The file nohup.out states: Killed by signal 15

If instead I do ctrl-z, bg, disown it works. However this requires the bash shell. I'd prefer a solution for ksh.


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up vote 3 down vote accepted
  • Start your sftp session as usual: sftp server1
  • Put it in the background with Ctrl+Z
  • Disconnect it from its parent with nohup -ga $(pgrep sftp)
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jlliagre, this is pretty much it. i had to do: nohup -ga $(pgrep sftp). thanks much! – anurag kohli Dec 1 '10 at 19:16
Thanks, updating my reply according to your comment. – jlliagre Dec 2 '10 at 8:29

Sounds like a perfect task for GNU Screen.

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ErikA, I'm using Unix (Solaris) so unfortunately this won't work. – anurag kohli Nov 30 '10 at 21:30
Looks like it's easy enough to install: – EEAA Nov 30 '10 at 21:56
I also don't have root access to this particular server :( – anurag kohli Nov 30 '10 at 22:34

I don't use KSH myself, but have you tried:

nohup sftp server1 &
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I tried this but doesn't seem to work. When I put in my password I get: ksh: opticall: not found (opticall is the password for server1) – anurag kohli Nov 30 '10 at 21:25
@anurag kohli - Do you have access to Perl with the Expect module? – Tok Nov 30 '10 at 23:09
@anurag kohli: Does it work if you do nohup sftp server1 (no &), enter your password, then do Ctrl-z and bg (no disown should be necessary since you have nohup) in ksh? – Dennis Williamson Dec 1 '10 at 1:24
@Dennis Williamson: Unfortunately this does not work. – anurag kohli Dec 1 '10 at 18:59

Could you not use scp in a script ? This is non-interactive and therefore doesnt require a terminal, and will work fine with nohup.

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Chris, I could look into this. However I don't have root access to this particular server so not sure if this is viable. – anurag kohli Nov 30 '10 at 21:28

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