SFTP in Java

There are several free libraries to perform connections via FTP in Java (such as Sun SDK, Apache Commons Net, …). However, these ones doesn’t support SSH connections. In order to use this kind of connections, few alternatives can be found.

I’m using J2SSH project which is an abandoned software which later evolved in J2SSH-Maverick commercial package.

Connecting a server through ip address and port 22 with user/password authentication can be done as follows.

import java.util.List;

import com.sshtools.j2ssh.SftpClient;
import com.sshtools.j2ssh.SshClient;
import com.sshtools.j2ssh.authentication.AuthenticationProtocolState;
import com.sshtools.j2ssh.authentication.PasswordAuthenticationClient;
import com.sshtools.j2ssh.sftp.SftpFile;

private static final String LOGS_APPS = "/logs";
private static final String USERNAME = "user";
private static final String PASSWORD = "pass";

// Connect
SshClient ssh = new SshClient();
ssh.connect("", 22, new AlwaysAllowingConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification());

// Authenticate
PasswordAuthenticationClient passwordAuthenticationClient =
    new PasswordAuthenticationClient();

int result = ssh.authenticate(passwordAuthenticationClient);
if(result != AuthenticationProtocolState.COMPLETE){
     throw new Exception("Login failed");

// Open the SFTP channel
SftpClient client = ssh.openSftpClient();

// List log directory
List ls = client.ls();


I’ve also included AlwaysAllowingConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification class in order to avoid user interaction required to accept connections to unknown hosts.

import com.sshtools.j2ssh.transport.ConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification;
import com.sshtools.j2ssh.transport.InvalidHostFileException;
import com.sshtools.j2ssh.transport.publickey.SshPublicKey; 

public class AlwaysAllowingConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification extends
        ConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification { 

    public AlwaysAllowingConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification()
            throws InvalidHostFileException {
        // Don't not do anything else

    public void onHostKeyMismatch(String s, SshPublicKey sshpublickey,
            SshPublicKey sshpublickey1) {
            System.out.println("The host key supplied by " + s + " is: " +
            System.out.println("The current allowed key for " + s + " is: " +
            System.out.println("Using Custom Key verification, " +
                "allowing to pass through");
            allowHost(s, sshpublickey, false);
        catch(Exception exception)

    public void onUnknownHost(String s, SshPublicKey sshpublickey) {
            System.out.println("The host " + s +
                " is currently unknown to the system");
            System.out.println("The host key fingerprint is: " +
            System.out.println("Using Custom Key verification, " +
                "allowing to pass through~~~");
            allowHost(s, sshpublickey, false);
        catch(Exception exception)

  • FTPS is ftp over a SSL (secure sockets layer) connection.
  • SFTP is not ftp but SCP (secure copy) commands (or similar) over a SSH2 (secure shell) connection.

In j2ssh 0.2.9 com.sshtools.j2ssh.transport.IgnoreHostKeyVerification class can be used to perform the same operation described in the given example ( AlwaysAllowingConsoleKnownHostsKeyVerification)


15 comentarios en “SFTP in Java

  1. You are right, surprisingly there are only a few options…

    Your solutions is for “SFTP” (FTP over SSH), but if you would want to implement an “FTPS” client (FTP over SSL), the best option is Apache Commons Net, but changing the Socket Factory (it has a method for stablising it).

    P.S: Great blog! ;-)

  2. Hi,

    I would like to know the server setup. For me the FTP server is behind a Firewall. I need to do a SSH connection to firewall and then do a FTP connect. I am using setProxyHost setProxyUsername and setProxyPassword. But I am getting connection refused reply always. I am using PasswordAuthenticationClient for Host password authentication.

    The below is the code

    public void verifySSHConnection() throws IOException {
    SshClient client = new SshClient();
    SshConnectionProperties connectionProperties = new SshConnectionProperties();
    client.connect(connectionProperties, new IgnoreHostKeyVerification());
    //this is behind the firewall and proxy has got access to it
    PasswordAuthenticationClient authenticationClient = new PasswordAuthenticationClient();
    int result = client.authenticate(authenticationClient);
    if (result == AuthenticationProtocolState.COMPLETE)
    System.out.println(“success Authentication”);
    System.out.println(“failed Authentication”);
    SftpClient sftpClient = client.openSftpClient();

  3. It seems your proxy server is not accepting connections thought port 22. Try connecting proxy on port 80 and then do the FTP connection on port 22.


  4. When I set proxy settings and just do a
    client.connect() – it is sucessful
    When I set the HOST and PasswordAuthentication it says connection refused. Is there any exact way to find the exact rejection during authentication. The connection refused exception I am getting is printed in the JUnit console.

  5. Also I would like to know if the SSH and FTP server should reside on the same server for JSSH to work or can they be on a different server IP’s.

  6. We are facing Performance related with J2SSH 0.2.9. When we try to download 1GB file using winscp(sftp) its taking just 15-20 seconds. If we do the same using java progrm with this jar its taking 3min. :-( Any configurations to be set to improve the performance?

  7. Proxy configuration for J2SSH SshClient:

    SshClient client = new SshClient();

    SshConnectionProperties connectionProperties = new SshConnectionProperties();
    connectionProperties.setTransportProvider(SshConnectionProperties.USE_HTTP_PROXY); // or USE_STANDARD_SOCKET or USE_SOCKS4_PROXY or USE_SOCKS5_PROXY

    client.connect(connectionProperties, new IgnoreHostKeyVerification());

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