Retrieving and uploading data on a dedicated server via SFTP

Find out how to easily transfer data to and from your dedicated server

Last updated 18th May 2021


As part of a migration process, you may find that you need to retrieve data stored on a dedicated server, and move it onto another server. There are different ways of doing this, but SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is best for transferring files quickly and simply via a secure SSH connection.

This tutorial will show you how to move and retrieve data on a dedicated server via SFTP.

This guide will show you how to use one or more OVHcloud solutions with external tools, and will describe the actions to be carried out in a specific context. Please remember to adapt these actions to fit your situation.

If you encounter any difficulties performing these actions, please contact a specialist service provider and/or discuss the issue with our community on OVHcloud cannot provide you with technical support in this regard.


  • A dedicated server with a GNU/Linux distribution installed
  • An FTP client that supports SFTP connections (this tutorial uses FileZilla)
  • Administrative access via SSH to your server


Using FileZilla to retrieve and upload your data

SFTP can be used to transfer files via a secure connection (SSH). There are two possibilities for this scenario: either you have normal access to your server or you connect to it in rescue mode.

By default, a server using a GNU/Linux-based operating system will have SSH access via port 22. However, you might have previously changed this port (for example by following our guide).

If you have access to your server

In the FileZilla GUI, enter your server's IP address into the Host field and your username and password into their respective fields. As for the Port field, enter "22" or whichever port your SSH service is listening on if you have modified it.

As soon as the connection is established, you will see a tree-view of your files in the Remote Site section.

remote site sftp

In our example, the data to be retrieved is located in the folder "/home/data". You can drag and drop the files you want to download from the right-hand pane (Remote Site) to the left-hand one (Local Site) to save it on your local device.

To upload files to the server, drag and drop your files from your local folder to the remote destination folder in the right-hand pane.

The progress of the data transfer will then be displayed at the bottom of the FileZilla window.

sftp transfer progress

If your server is in rescue mode

In rescue mode, you first need to mount your partition. To do this, you can follow the instructions set out in this guide.

Once you have mounted your partition, use the FileZilla client in the same way as described above, using port 22 for the connection to your server.

The login credentials you need to use are sent to you via email when you put your server into rescue mode.

If you have created the mount point according to the guide, the data will be located in the "/mnt" directory (i.e. "/mnt/home/data" in this example).

remote site sftp rescue mode

Go further

Activating and using rescue mode

Securing a dedicated server

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