SCP protocol question and outstanding requests in SFTP

William Ahern william at
Sat Oct 13 03:40:17 EST 2007

On Fri, Oct 12, 2007 at 01:28:29PM -0400, Chris Rapier wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > It seems wasteful to put a huge amount of effort into scp when rsync
> > seems to fill the feature list quite well.  I think if you were to
> > push your users over to rsync that they would be very happy and
> > productive to be using it.
> There are almost always better solutions. However, getting people to 
> *use* those solutions can be painful, frustrating, and ultimately a 
> waste of time and effort. So I agree with you entirely, but that doesn't 
> seem to be enough.

I had a similar problem, but in this case necessity demanded that scp be
thrown out entirely. Instead, I wrote a wrapper script which _looked_ like
scp, and worked like scp, but instead used sftp.

The users never knew the difference. They weren't using esoteric features of
scp, which most people don't. Most people use scp because it looks and feels
like the cp(1) command. That's easy enough to imitate.

There's a great degree of overlap between people who stubbornly refuse to
use another tool, and those who use the tool in a most basic,
straight-forward fashion. It's not fair (and I suspect this method of
arguing is common, though I am not pointing fingers by any means), to hold
up the great body of scp users to persuade why scp is important, but then
dismiss alternatives because the alternatives don't meet the demands of a
much smaller sub-group. Very likely the majority can be transparently
migrated, more-or-less.

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