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I'm a bit of a unix noob, but this question seems super basic, yet I can't find an answer anywhere.

Basically, to my knowledge, sFTP is just FTP over ssh. So, why can't I drag and drop files from one folder to another on the server side like I can on ssh. Why when I want to unzip a .tar in a server folder, does it first want to copy it to my machine and then back? Why can't it just unzip like it can when I'm using the command line. I know that when I use the command line it is using the resources of the remote machine, but why can't sFTP do that too?

Is there a way to execute commands which I would normally do over SSH, but in a gui? I'm tried mapping to the drive to my own machine, I've tried so many sFTP clients that it's silly. Is there another class of program that I just don't know of?

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closed as off topic by Steven Monday, Zoredache, MikeyB, Ward, Shane Madden Nov 16 '11 at 5:35

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3 Answers 3

As it has already been pointed out, SSH and SFTP are different things, but for the specific scenario you are describing, the SSHFS/SFTP client should understand your request and try to perform the unzip directly in the remote machine (the one you are connecting to) rather than bringing it down, unzipping it and copying the outcome back.

I guess this is more and more common these days with plenty of people having almost-storage-only systems at home, running say... Ubuntu, and hosting plenty of files there. I guess it wouldn't be hard to program it (the code necessary to do unzip/unrar/$WHATEVER_FILE_MANIPULATION) and you should ask the software provider to code that feature. I would support it for the GNU/Linux platform.

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I know that when I use the command line it is using the resources of the remote machine, but why can't sFTP do that too?

Because it's a file transfer protocol, not a remote shell.

You've really answered your own question here - just fire up an ssh session and un-tar to your heart's content.

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"Is there a way to execute commands which I would normally do over SSH, but in a gui?" –  jackquack Nov 16 '11 at 3:09
    
Honestly I don't know. Perhaps there is. You really ought to give up on the GUI, though. Yes, they're easier to deal with at first, but investing in them (time, money, etc.) too heavily is false economy. You'll be much more productive in the future if you just commit to learning how to do things on the CLI without the help of a GUI. –  EEAA Nov 16 '11 at 3:17
    
That's one opinion. –  jackquack Nov 16 '11 at 18:26

I use a program called WinSSHd and I use the accompanying program called "Tunnelier" , which has a FTP gui that tunnels through the SSH port hosted by WinSSHd.

So, obviously, you cant use WinSSHd for unix but you could use the Tunnelier windows client to connect to your Unix SSH daemon and do your FTP.

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