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Script Commands

In its scripting functionality, WinSCP supports set of commands described below.

You can see the very same help for the commands as shown here, if you type command help <command> directly in console.

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General Syntax

You can use environment variables in the commands, with syntax %NAME%.

You can reference script arguments (passed on command-line using parameter /parameter) using syntax %N%, where N is ordinal number of argument.

Note that WinSCP treats filenames in case sensitive manner. So even if your server treats filenames in case insensitive manner, make sure you specify case properly1.

call

With SFTP and SCP protocols, executes arbitrary remote shell command. With FTP protocol, executes a protocol command.

call <command>

If current session does not allow execution of arbitrary remote command separate shell session will be automatically opened.

The command must not require user input.

Alias: !

XML Log Element: call

Examples:

call mysqldump --opt -u USERNAME --password=PASSWORD --all-databases > all_databases.sql
call gzip -c all_databases.sql > all_databases.gz

cd

Changes remote working directory for active session.

cd [ <directory> ]

If directory is not specified, changes to home directory.

Examples:

cd /home/martin
cd

chmod

Changes permissions of one or more remote files.

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chmod <mode> <file> [ <file2> ... ]

mode can be specified as three or four-digit octal number.

Filename can be replaced with wildcard to select multiple files.

XML Log Element: chmod

Examples:

chmod 644 index.html about.html
chmod 1700 /home/martin/public_html
chmod 644 *.html

close

Closes session.

close [ <session> ]

Closes session specified by its number. When session is not specified, closes currently selected session.

Examples:

close 1
close

exit

Closes all sessions and terminates the program.

exit

Alias: bye

get

Downloads one or more files from remote directory to local directory.

get <file> [ [ <file2> ... ] <directory>\[ <newname> ] ]

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Downloads one or more files from remote directory to local directory. If only one parameter is specified downloads the file to local working directory. If more parameters are specified, all except the last one specify set of files to download. The last parameter specifies target local directory and optionally operation mask to store file(s) under different name. Destination directory must end with backslash. Filename can be replaced with wildcard to select multiple files. To download more files to current working directory use .\ as the last parameter.

Use option command to set transfer options.

Alias: recv

Switches:

Switch Description
-delete Delete source remote file(s) after transfer. Options exclude and include are ignored.
-resume Automatically resume transfer if possible (SFTP and FTP protocols only). Cannot be combined with -append.
-append Append source file to the end of target file (SFTP protocol only). Cannot be combined with -resume.
-preservetime Preserve timestamp
-nopreservetime Do not preserve timestamp
-speed=<kibps> Limit transfer speed

Effective options: transfer, confirm, exclude (not with -delete), include (not with -delete)

XML Log Elements: download, rm (with -delete)

Examples:

get index.html
get -delete index.html about.html .\
get index.html about.html d:\www\
get public_html/index.html d:\www\about.*
get *.html *.png d:\www\*.bak

See also synchronize if you need to transfer modified files only.

help

Displays help for script commands.

help [ <command> [ <command2> ... ] ]

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Displays list of commands when no parameters are specified. Displays help for each command when some are specified.

Alias: man

Examples:

help ls
help

keepuptodate

Watches for changes in local directory and reflects them on remote one.

keepuptodate [ <local directory> [ <remote directory> ] ]

When directories are not specified, current working directories are synchronized. To stop watching for changes press Ctrl-C.

Note: Overwrite confirmations are always off for the command.

Switches:

Switch Description
-delete Delete obsolete files
-permissions=<mode> Set permissions
-nopermissions Keep default permissions
-speed=<kibps> Limit transfer speed

Effective options: transfer, exclude, include

XML Log Elements: upload, touch, chmod (with -permissions), rm (with -delete)

Examples:

keepuptodate -delete
keepuptodate d:\www /home/martin/public_html

lcd

Changes local working directory for all sessions.

lcd <directory>

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Example:

lcd d:\

lls

Lists the contents of local directory.

lls [ <directory> ]\[ <wildcard> ]

If directory is not specified, lists working directory. When wildcard is specified, it is treated as set of files to list. Otherwise, all files are listed.

Examples:

lls *.html
lls d:\
lls

ln

Creates remote symlink.

ln <target> <symlink>

Alias: symlink

Example:

ln /home/martin/public_html www

lpwd

Prints current local working directory (valid for all sessions).

lpwd

ls

Lists the contents of specified directory.

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ls [ <directory> ]/[ <wildcard> ]

Lists the contents of specified remote directory. If directory is not specified, lists working directory. When wildcard2 is specified, it is treated as set of files to list. Otherwise, all files are listed.

Alias: dir

XML Log Element: ls

Examples:

ls *.html
ls /home/martin
ls

mkdir

Creates remote directory.

mkdir <directory>

XML Log Element: mkdir

Example:

mkdir public_html

mv

Moves or renames one or more remote files.

mv <file> [ <file2> ... ] [ <directory>/ ][ <newname> ]

Destination directory or newname or both must be specified. Destination directory must end with slash. Operation mask can be used instead of new name. Filename can be replaced with wildcard to select multiple files.

Alias: rename

XML Log Element: mv

Examples:

mv index.html public_html/
mv index.html about.*
mv index.html public_html/about.*
mv public_html/index.html public_html/about.html /home/martin/*.bak
mv *.html /home/backup/*.bak

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open

Establishes new connection.

open <stored session>
open [ sftp|ftp|scp:// ][ <user> [ :password ] @ ] <host> [ :<port> ]

Establishes connection to given host. Use name of the stored session (to open session, stored in folder, use path syntax “folder/session”). You can also specify host, username, port and protocol directly.

Switches:

Switch Description
-privatekey=<key> Private key path
-timeout=<sec> Server response timeout
-hostkey=“<fingerprint>” Specifies fingerprint of expected SSH host key (or several fingerprints separated by semicolon). It makes WinSCP automatically accept hostkey with the fingerprint. As the hostkey fingerprint contains spaces you need to enclose it in quotes. SFTP and SCP protocols only.
-certificate=“<fingerprint>” Specifies fingerprint of expected SSL/TLS sertificate (or several fingerprints separated by semicolon). It makes WinSCP automatically accept certificate with the fingerprint. FTPS protocol only.
-passive Passive mode (FTP protocol only)
-implicit Implicit TLS/SSL (FTPS protocol only)
-explicitssl Explicit SSL (FTPS protocol only)
-explicittls Explicit TLS (FTPS protocol only)

XML Log Element: session

Examples:

open sftp://martin@example.com -hostkey="ssh-rsa 1024 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx"
open scp://test@example.com:2222 -privatekey=mykey.ppk
open ftps://martin@example.com -implicit -certificate="xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx"
open martin@example.com
open example.com
open

option

Shows or sets value of script options.

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option [ <option> [ <value> ] ]

If no parameters are specified, lists all script options and their values. When one parameter is specified only, shows value of the option. When two parameters are specified sets value of the option. Initial values of some options are taken from application configuration, however modifing the options does not change the application configuration.

Options are:

Option Values and description
echo on|off
Toggles echoing of command being executed.
Commands affected: all
batch on|off|abort|continue
Toggles batch mode (all prompts are automatically replied negatively). When on, it is recommended to set confirm to off to allow overwrites. With abort script is aborted when any error occurs. With continue all errors are ignored.
Commands affected: nearly all
confirm on|off
Toggles confirmations (overwrite, etc.).
Commands affected: get, put
transfer binary|ascii|automatic
Transfer mode: binary, ascii (text), automatic (by extension).
Commands affected: get, put, synchronize, keepuptodate
exclude
include
clear | <mask>[;<mask2>...]
Sets exclusion or inclusion masks (only one can be set at time).
Commands affected: get, put, synchronize, keepuptodate

Aliases: ascii (for option transfer ascii), binary (for option transfer binary)

Examples:

option transfer
option confirm off
option include "*.html; */"
option exclude "*.tpl.php"
option exclude "*.mp3; *.mp4; *.lnk; *.exe; *.msi; My Pictures; My Music; My Videos;"
option

Note that resetting the same option overwrites previous values, it does not append.

put

Uploads one or more files from local directory to remote directory.

put <file> [ [ <file2> ... ] <directory>/[ <newname> ] ]

If only one parameter is specified uploads the file to remote working directory. If more parameters are specified, all except the last one specify set of files to upload. The last parameter specifies target remote directory and optionally operation mask to store file(s) under different name. Destination directory must end with slash. Filename can be replaced with Windows wildcard2 to select multiple files. To upload more files to current working directory use ./ as the last parameter.

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Use option command to set transfer options.

Switches:

Switch Description
-delete Delete source local file(s) after transfer. Options exclude and include are ignored.
-resume Automatically resume transfer if possible (SFTP and FTP protocols only). Cannot be combined with -append.
-append Append source file to the end of target file (SFTP protocol only). Cannot be combined with -resume.
-preservetime Preserve timestamp
-nopreservetime Do not preserve timestamp
-permissions=<mode> Set permissions
-nopermissions Keep default permissions
-speed=<kibps> Limit transfer speed

Alias: send

Effective options: transfer, confirm, exclude (not with -delete), include (not with -delete)

XML Log Elements: upload, chmod (with -permissions), touch (with -preservetime)

Examples:

put index.html
put -delete index.html about.html ./
put -permissions=644 index.html about.html /home/martin/public_html/
put d:\www\index.html about.*
put *.html *.png /home/martin/backup/*.bak

See also synchronize if you need to transfer modified files only.

pwd

Prints current remote working directory for active session.

pwd

rm

Removes one or more remote files.

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rm <file> [ <file2> ... ]

If remote recycle bin is configured, moves file to the bin instead of deleting it. Filename can be replaced with wildcard to select multiple files.

XML Log Element: rm

Examples:

rm index.html
rm index.html about.html
rm *.html

rmdir

Removes one or more remote directories.

rmdir <directory> [ <directory2> ... ]

If remote recycle bin is configured, moves directory to the bin instead of deleting it.

XML Log Element: rm

Example:

rmdir public_html

session

Manages opened sessions.

session [ <session> ]

Makes session specified by its number active. When session number is not specified, lists connected sessions.

Examples:

session 1
session

synchronize

Synchronizes directories.

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synchronize local|remote|both [ <local directory> [ <remote directory> ] ]

When the first parameter is local, changes from remote directory are applied to local directory. When the first parameter is remote, changes from the local directory are applied to the remote directory. When the first parameter is both, both local and remote directories can be modified.

When directories are not specified, current working directories are synchronized.

Note: Overwrite confirmations are always off for the command.

Switches:

Switch Description
-delete Delete obsolete files. Ignored for both.
-mirror Mirror mode (synchronize also older files). Ignored for both.
-criteria=<criteria> Comparison criteria. Possible values are time, size and both. Ignored for both mode.
-permissions=<mode> Set permissions
-nopermissions Keep default permissions
-speed=<kibps> Limit transfer speed

Effective options: transfer, exclude, include

XML Log Elements: download (with local or both), upload (with remote or both), touch (with remote or both), chmod (with remote or both and -permissions), rm (with remote and -delete)

Examples:

synchronize remote -delete
synchronize both d:\www /home/martin/public_html
  1. This is important particularly for FTP sessions.Back
  2. Windows wildcard supports * and ? only. It does not support all the features of file masks.Back

Last modified: by martin