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NFS, FTP or SSH file transfer

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Super Advisor

NFS, FTP or SSH file transfer


Which is the quickest file transfer via NFS, FTP or SSH in 100MB LAN?
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: NFS, FTP or SSH file transfer

> [...] NFS, FTP or SSH [...]

Or "rcp", or "rsh"/"remsh", or "rsync", or
Kermit, or ...

It probably depends on many missing bits of
information (software, hardware, ...). I'd
expect free advice obtained here to be less
reliable than data obtained from some simple
tests on representative files.

If your CPUs are faster than your network,
then compress+transfer+decompress may be
faster than a simple transfer. A "tar" (or
cpio, ...) pipeline (with or without
compression) can preserve file ownership
and/or permissions. Some programs deal
better with symbolic links, sparse files, and
so on than others.

Everything's complicated. Accurate answers
to terse questions, especially so.
Occasional Visitor

Re: NFS, FTP or SSH file transfer

SSH is encrypted traffic.  It may be slowest because of the extra overhead that happens during encryption/decryption between the local and remote hosts (I'm thinking "SFTP" file transfers here).


I'm no famiiliar with NFS at all, and FTP transmits password on clear view.  I'd have to say, FTP has less overhead and may still be fastest way to transfer files remotely.

Jimmy Vance

Re: NFS, FTP or SSH file transfer

Another option to look at is "netcat" I find it moves data rather quickly


copy data from machine A to machine B


on machine A

# cd {target directory}

# tar -cf - . | nc -w 3 -l -p 5432


on machine B

# nc -w 5 5432 | tar -xvf -


The command sets up a tar process on machine A that waits for a tcp connection on port 5432. When a client (machine B) connects, tar simply sends all the data through that tcp port. No temporary files are required.

On machine B, another tar process reads from the network via netcat, writing the data to the disks as it streams over the network


NOTE: on some distros netcat is called using "nc" instead of "netcat"


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