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OCLC Support

Upload files using SFTP or SCP commands

Learn how to upload files using SFTP or SCP commands.

Upload a file using SFTP or SCP commands

Use the SFTP or SCP client of your choice. Click "Enter/Return" on your keyboard after each command.

 Note: Commands are case-sensitive and all alphabetic characters must be lowercase.


Method Commands
  1. Using your institution's assigned username, enter the following command: sftp [username]@[data center]
  2. Enter your institution's assigned password
  3. Choose directory (see directory folders): Enter cd [directory name or path]
  4. Enter put [myfile] (copies file from your local system to OCLC's system)
  5. Enter quit
Secure Copy
  1. Enter scp [myfile] [username]@[data center]:[directory name or path] (see directory folders)
  2. Enter the password when prompted


Verify a file has been uploaded successfully

Almost immediately after a file upload completes, the system moves the file into a queue for subsequent processing and it is no longer available on the upload server.  The only reliable way to verify the success of the upload is to check for a non-zero condition code or for error messages after the upload attempt.

The following is an example of a script that checks for a non-zero return code. This assumes the bash shell is in use, which is the default on most Linux distributions:


# This script assumes that a public / private key pair has been setup already between the
# client account that is running the script on the local machine and the fx_zzzzz server
# account on OCLC's host

sftp -v <<EOF
lcd /zzzzz/bib/xfer/out/
cd /xfer/metacoll/in/bib/
put 1234567.zzzzz.bibs.20200101.mrc

# Best practice is to assign the sftp return code to a variable for further use, because
# ${?} is fleeting and only shows the condition code of the immediately preceding command


# If the return code is non-zero then the upload was not successful

if [[ 0 != ${SFTP_RETURN_CODE} ]]
   echo "bib upload for zzzzz failed"
   echo "bib upload for zzzzz was successful"

exit 0