Sam Doidge

Continual improvement

Background Server FTP Transfer

I had a lot of files to transfer, little bandwidth from my laptop and limited timed. Can I have my server transferring the files in the background? Yes.

My VPS has more bandwidth than my current location. I needed to FTP the files, a little research and I settled on lftp. I use debian-based linux, so apt-get install lftp to get the program, and then. cd to my files location.

If you are in the current directory of your files, you will use the following command:


I’ve used mirror option with the -R flag mirrors the target path to match the local files. The -e flag deletes target files matching source files if they exist.

To make this command run in the background you need to put ampersand: & at the end; so your command becomes:


The transfer is now running in the background - confirm this by typing top ( a list of running processes consuming the most resources) -lftp should be here.

This allowed me to close my laptop and hit the gym while I’m uploading ~2GB of files, brilliant.

Note: this tool will not create directories on the target FTP server - you will need to create these manually, or look for a different method if you have many