Jameser's Tech Tips

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tip #31: Simple Portable SFTP Server for Windows XP

Today's tip is on providing a small, portable SFTP server for Windows XP for SSH encrypted file transfers... While there are ports of OpenSSH available for Windows machines, we'll be taking a look at a tiny, single executable, SFTP server for Windows...

The utility we'll be using is called the Mini SFTP Server from CoreFTP, and it's provided free of charge from the developers of the CoreFTP FTP Client and Server... The single executable format makes it ideal for carrying around on your USB flash drive...

The Mini SFTP Server can be downloaded from here... There is no install process, just launch the msftpsrvr.exe executable after you have completed downloading it...

After you have launched the msftpsrvr.exe application, you can configure a single User ID / Password combination, the port number on which the server will run, and the directory which will serve as the root path for the server... After you have adjusted the settings to your needs, simply click on the Start button to start the server... If you are behind a router, you will need enable port forwarding to your machine using the port you specified in the configuration...

To connect to your SFTP server, remote users can use a SFTP client application of their choice, including pscp from the PuTTY developers, as well as WinSCP...

After you have run the application once, it stores the values you've supplied into the registry for future use... The registry keys can be deleted if you'd like (HKCU/Software/FTPWare), or you can simply clear the fields of the application prior to exiting the program to clear the registry entries...

To start the server process immediately upon launch (using the values previously stored in the registry), you can add the -start switch to the shortcut or from the command line, (i.e. msftpsrvr.exe -start)...

If you have any questions, please leave a comment...


  • At 7/31/2006 7:14 PM, Anonymous Miles Wolbe said…


    Glad to see you used the two apps I suggested yesterday in your latest tech tip (#31), though I am puzzled why you would not let my comment be posted on Tip #23.



  • At 7/31/2006 9:33 PM, Blogger Jameser said…

    Hi Miles... Sorry for the delay in posting your comment on tip #23...

    Thanks for actually visiting my tips more than once... :-)

    Regarding the PSFTP in your previous comment, how does it differ from PSCP? Are they basically the same app, or does PSFTP provide more functionality? Just curious... I've only used PSCP as it seemed to do everything I needed SFTP-wise...

    Thanks again...


  • At 8/01/2006 1:57 AM, Anonymous Miles said…

    Aloha, James! Many thanks for your reply. And thank you for addressing the issues raised in my comment on Tip #23.

    Regarding PSFTP vs.PSCP:

    1. PSCP should work on virtually every SSH server. PSFTP uses the new SFTP protocol, which is a feature of SSH-2 only. (PSCP will also use this protocol if it can, but there is an SSH-1 equivalent it can fall back to if it cannot.)

    2. PSFTP allows you to run an interactive file transfer session, much like the Windows ftp program. You can list the contents of directories, browse around the file system, issue multiple get and put commands, and eventually log out. By contrast, PSCP is designed to do a single file transfer operation and immediately terminate.

    Here are the PSFTP commands, which closely mirror those of FTP (sorry about the format - Blogger comments won't let me use tt, pre, code, etc):

    ! run a local command
    bye finish your SFTP session
    cd change your remote working directory
    chmod change file permissions and modes
    close finish your SFTP session but do not quit PSFTP
    del delete files on the remote server
    dir list remote files
    exit finish your SFTP session
    get download a file from the server to your local machine
    help give help
    lcd change local working directory
    lpwd print local working directory
    ls list remote files
    mget download multiple files at once
    mkdir create directories on the remote server
    mput upload multiple files at once
    mv move or rename file(s) on the remote server
    open connect to a host
    put upload a file from your local machine to the server
    pwd print your remote working directory
    quit finish your SFTP session
    reget continue downloading files
    ren move or rename file(s) on the remote server
    reput continue uploading files
    rm delete files on the remote server
    rmdir remove directories on the remote server

    Yours Sincerely,


  • At 4/11/2007 8:07 AM, Blogger fork said…

    This tip has been a god-send for exchanging files with my paranoid room mate! Thank you!

  • At 12/08/2007 1:34 PM, Anonymous Boort said…


    Thanks for the article, this is exactly what I was looking for.


  • At 1/30/2008 4:10 AM, Blogger Jim said…

    Needed a USB portable SFTP Server solution to allow transfer of certificates onto a Cisco CSS load balancer. This is just the ticket. Many thanks for the steer.


  • At 7/19/2012 3:05 AM, Anonymous Shivashankar Chincholi said…

    Thanks for the article, this is exactly what I was looking for.

    nice to work on unit testing.

  • At 4/06/2014 9:47 AM, Blogger plao said…

    A very nice piece of software, thanks man!

  • At 4/11/2014 5:38 AM, Blogger Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan said…

    After 8 years you post this tip, it just help me with my work of transferring file from Linux server to Windows desktop. Thanks for the tip! :)


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