SFTP server

  • This how-to describes the method for setting up SFTP server on OpenWrt.
  • It relies on Dropbear and openssh-sftp-server for secure authentication and file transfer.
  • You can use any suitable SFTP client running natively on your OS.
  • Transfer files to/from the router.
  • Secure file transfer operations.
  • Support OS specific clients.

The SSH File Transfer (SFTP) is a file transfer protocol that works over SSH. It's like SCP but has more features. For a basic usage the low level SCP may be enough but if you need, for example, to mount drive then use the SFTP.

The vanilla OpenWrt out of the box has a small Dropbear SSH server. But it doesn't support the SFTP and you need to install openssh-sftp-server package. The package comes from another OpenSSH server which is bigger but has more features and default on desktop systems like Ubuntu. Many routers with OpenWrt as a stock firmware use it out of the box and the openssh-sftp-server is installed too. So for this routers you really don't need anything to do and just start using it.

But if not then install the required package:

opkg update
opkg install openssh-sftp-server

Enter the following URL in your SFTP client.

  • Windows: WinSCP - an advanced GUI client. Proprietary
  • Windows: FAR Manager - an advanced Norton Commander like file manager. Supports a plain SCP too. Proprietary
  • Linux, macOS, FreeBSD: far2l - an open source version of the FAR. GPL-2
  • Linux, macOS, FreeBSD: Midnight Commander - a Norton Commander like file manager. Supports a plain SCP too. GPL-3
  • Linux: GNOME Files or KDE Konqueror. GPL-2
  • Linux: GNOME Déjà Dup - a backup and sync tool. GPL-3
  • Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD: rclone - a command-line program to manage files on cloud storage. MIT
  • Linux: SSHFS client
  • macOS: Cyberduck and MountainDuck. GPL-3.
  • Android TV, RapberryPI: KODI - a media player for TV. You can put a USB drive to a router and watch your photos, video and audio without any additional software.

Collect and analyze the following information.

# Restart services
service log restart; service dropbear restart
# Log and status
logread -e dropbear; netstat -l -n -p | grep -e dropbear
# Runtime configuration
pgrep -f -a dropbear
# Persistent configuration
uci show dropbear
ls -l /etc/dropbear; cat /etc/dropbear/authorized_keys
ls -l $(opkg files openssh-sftp-server | grep -e ^/)

You may want to provide service discovery for clients supporting Bonjour/Zeroconf.

opkg update
opkg install announce

See also umdns Multicast DNS Daemon

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  • Last modified: 2023/10/14 05:25
  • by vgaetera