Tag Archives: FTP

PowerShell FTP Follow-up

This script is an attempt to automate a lengthy error-prone copying and configuration process that we do each week. If we do the process manually it can take anywhere from five to twenty minutes, and it tends to have various points of failure.  The piece below is actually just one portion of the process. The steps include: 

1. Get the name of a new folder to be created on the server
2. Get the name of the file to be copied into the new folder
3. Using the two new names, build a text file which contains commands that will be fed into PSFTP
4. Call PSFTP and run the commands in the text file.

This  PowerShell script uses Putty FTP to log into an FTP server, create a new folder, and copy a file to that folder from the local host. Note the the steps for making the folder and copying the file are contained in a Putty script called gwkprocess.scr. This secondary script is is used as input to the Putty program after Putty makes the connection.  Those steps are typical FTP steps: 

CD / topdirectory
MKDIR  /new directory
CD /newdirectory 
PUT myfile.png  

<# Powershell Scripted FTP
LK 10.30.2014 
Send a file to the eMail server via FTP.
Uses the Putty Secure FTP program PSFTP

# $FTPFolder=’/home/web/html/store/images/fy2014/Kids-Shop’
# Note that the login credentials are in clear text! 

# Enter the new folder name here. 
$NewFolder = “20141101ks”

# The Picture file to be copied is located in 
# C:UsersLarryPowershell 
# and should be named, with the usual naming convention
$PicFile = “20141101ks-image.png”

#Note line wraps. 

#Build the Putty Script file 
“cd /home/web/html/store/images/fy2014/Kids-Shop”| Out-File -FilePath C:UsersLarryPowershellgwkprocess.scr -Encoding ascii

“mkdir $Newfolder” | Out-File -FilePath  C:UsersLarryPowershellgwkprocess.scr  -Encoding ascii -Append

“put $PicFile” | Out-File -FilePath  C:UsersLarryPowershellgwkprocess.scr  -Encoding ascii -Append

“ls” | Out-File -FilePath C:UsersLarryPowershellgwkprocess.scr  -Encoding ascii -Append

# Call the putty program 
.psftp myuser@ -P 22 -pw mypassword -v -2 -b gwkprocess.scr

This starts PSFTP in the Powershell window, makes the connection and then executes the gwkprocess.scr  steps. It then closes the connection. If there is a problem, PSFTP will print a failure message, but clearly there is room for more error checking on the front end. 

The presumption is that the secondary script gets rebuilt with new file and folder names each time the script is run. Obviously, there are some refinements to be included, like  interactive data entry of the file and folder names.

Powershell: Scripting FTP

Having spent some hours figuring out how to script an FTP transfer, I thought I’d describe my kludge. Maybe someone can suggest a more elegant way.  I’m trying to I’m connect to a FTP server on my Linux box to upload a file.
There are at least three approaches that can be taken:
1. Directly interact with .NET objects
2. Import a Powershell module for FTP
3. Use Powershell to manipulate a command line FTP program, such as the Putty Secure FTP program PSFTP.
I started with the second option recommended on TechNet. Looks great, and I thought that it was semi-official (being from Technet). I was unable to get a connection and I think it may be related to the fact that module apparently doesn’t support SFTP version 2.  There are a couple other quirks with the module… including the fact that the user name and password are passed to the command line as an object.  
By the way, both option 2 and 3 have the same name, PSFTP. 
Option 2 = Powershell FTP 
Option 3 = Putty Secure FTP 
So, I’m on to option 3.  This looks a little more promising.  One gotcha, however, is that calling Putty PSFTP from the Powershell ise, makes the connection but doesn’t return to show the PSFTP prompt. Here’s the command (so far) 
PS> .psftp myaccount@ -p 22 -pw mypassword -v -2
This command shows that:
The psftp program is located in the current directory.
myaccount@ – is the login account used for logging into the target machine – is the IP address of the target machine
-p 22 – is port 22, used for Secure FTP
-pw is the password
-v is verbose (upon execution it returns all the steps of the login
-2 is SSL version 2.
Running this from the command line in the ISE gives the following:
  .psftp : Looking up host “”
At line:1 char:1
+ .psftp myaccount@ -P 22 -pw mypassword -v -2
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (Looking up host “”:String) [], RemoteException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NativeCommandError
Connecting to port 22
We claim version: SSH-2.0-PuTTY_Release_0.63
Server version: SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_3.8.1p1
Using SSH protocol version 2
Doing Diffie-Hellman group exchange
Doing Diffie-Hellman key exchange with hash SHA-1
Host key fingerprint is:
ssh-rsa 1024 ce:ec:0d:c2:90:ab:5e:87:12:bf:ba:f9:78:77:89:fb
Initialised AES-256 SDCTR client->server encryption
Initialised HMAC-SHA1 client->server MAC algorithm
Initialised AES-256 SDCTR server->client encryption
Initialised HMAC-SHA1 server->client MAC algorithm
Using username “myaccount”.
Attempting keyboard-interactive authentication
Access granted
Opening session as main channel
Opened main channel
Started a shell/command
Connected to
Remote working directory is /ftproot
PS >
If you run this from the ise, it returns the PS command as shown.  
If you run this from a regular powershell command session, it will keep you in the PSFTP session, and you can run use the usual FTP commands….like CD, etc. 
In either case, the way Putty FTP can execute scripted commands is that the script has to live in a separate batch file that is called from the command line.  There doesn’t appear to be a  way to pass commands from Powershell to a running Putty SFTP session.  (hmm.. really?) 
Additioanal points: 
1. I might be able to configure the FTP server running on the Linux box to accept the connection from the PowerShell FTP module. I haven’t investigated that possibility but presumably it would be less secure in terms of encryption.

2. The script above has the name and password in clear text.  Not a best practice. 
3. Various versions of FTP are described on this page.