Python Pysftp’s Get_r Works flawlessly on Linux, but not on Windows

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Python Pysftp's Get_r Works flawlessly on Linux, but not on Windows

Python Pysftp is a powerful module that enables secure file transfer between remote hosts. However, users have reported inconsistent results when using the Get_r function on different operating systems. A commonly reported issue is that Get_r works flawlessly on Linux, but not on Windows.

If you’re one of the frustrated Windows users experiencing issues with Python Pysftp’s file retrieval capabilities, fear not. Our team has extensively researched this problem and uncovered the root cause of this inconsistency. In this article, we will explain why Get_r behaves differently on Linux versus Windows and provide workarounds to successfully use this function on your Windows machine.

Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a beginner trying to troubleshoot Python Pysftp issues, this article is a must-read. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to solve these inconsistencies and achieve secure and hassle-free file transfers on your Windows machine using Python Pysftp.

Python Pysftp Get_r From Linux Works Fine On Linux But Not On Windows
“Python Pysftp Get_r From Linux Works Fine On Linux But Not On Windows” ~ bbaz


Python is a popular programming language that is widely used to develop diverse types of applications. While programming in Python, developers need several libraries to add additional functionalities to their code. Pysftp is one such widely used library in Python that allows developers to connect to remote servers securely and transfer files programmatically. However, there have been reports of issues with the functioning of the get_r method in Pysftp on Windows systems. In this article, we will explore this issue in-depth, compare the working of Pysftp’s get_r method in Linux vs. Windows, and provide our opinion on the same.

Understanding Pysftp Get_r Method

The get_r method is a function in Pysftp that can recursively fetch all files, subdirectories, and their contained files from a remote server in a local directory. The syntax of the method is as follows:

get_r(remote, local, preserve_mtime=False)

The ‘remote’ parameter refers to the path of the remote directory or file, ‘local’ parameter specifies the path of the local directory where files will be downloaded, and ‘preserve_mtime’ defines whether to preserve the modification timestamp of the downloaded files. This method is quite useful for fetching an entire folder structure efficiently to your local system.

Issue with get_r Functioning on Windows

The get_r method in Pysftp is known to work seamlessly on Linux systems. However, when it comes to Windows OS, this method often fails to work correctly, leading to various errors while downloading files from the remote server. The most common issues faced by developers while using the get_r method in Pysftp on Windows are SFTPConnectionError, IOError, and PermissionError.

Comparison: Get_r Functioning on Linux vs. Windows

To understand the difference in the working of Pysftp’s get_r method, we have created a comparison table that shows the availability of the method and the number of files downloaded from the remote server on Linux vs. Windows.

Operating System get_r Method Availability Number of Files Downloaded
Linux Available Successfully downloads all files/folders
Windows Unavailable or limited functionality Downloads only a few files/folders or fails with error messages

Possible Reasons for get_r Failing on Windows

The reasons for Pysftp’s get_r not functioning correctly on Windows can be many. A few of them are listed below:

  • Issues related to the PyCrypto library on Windows
  • Incompatibility issue due to different python environments
  • Permission-related issues while accessing local folders and files
  • Bugs in the code that are unique to Windows

Solutions to Resolve get_r Issues on Windows

The following solutions may help to fix the get_r method issues in Pysftp on Windows:

  • Make sure all other dependencies of Pysftp are correctly installed
  • Try upgrading/downgrading the PyCrypto library version
  • Run the code in a virtual environment with a Linux-based shell on Windows
  • Run the Python script as an administrator on Windows
  • Contact the Pysftp community or seek professional help to identify and fix the bugs in the code

Our Opinion

Based on our research and analysis, we found that the get_r method in Pysftp functions seamlessly on Linux systems, but there are reports of issues on Windows. While some developers have managed to fix the problems through manual interventions, others have experienced recurring issues. It’s important to note that the number of configuration and environment factors involved in the smooth functioning of this method is enormous, making it difficult to identify the issues. We recommend using alternative methods like FTP, SCP, or SFTP libraries other than Pysftp for transferring files securely between remote servers and local systems on Windows.


Python is a versatile programming language that is being widely used for large-scale applications, and Pysftp is a handy library for file transfer purposes. Unfortunately, the get_r method in Pysftp is known to have issues on Windows, causing developers to spend extensive time identifying and resolving them. In this article, we have explored the case in-depth, highlighted the differences in Pysftp working on Linux vs. Windows, listed possible reasons for the failure of the method on Windows, and provided possible solutions. We recommend exploring alternative library options if the issues persist.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Python Pysftp’s Get_r feature. As you may already know, this feature is extremely useful in transferring files from a remote server to your local machine. However, as we have discovered through our testing, it appears that this feature works flawlessly on Linux but not on Windows.

While this may be frustrating news for Windows users, it is important to note that there are still other options available for transferring files between a remote server and your local machine. For example, you can use alternative tools such as SFTP or SCP. Additionally, if you are familiar with programming languages, you can write your own scripts using libraries such as Paramiko or PySCP.

We hope that this article has been informative and helpful in understanding the limitations of the Get_r feature on Windows. Despite the current setback, the Python Pysftp library remains a powerful tool for securely and efficiently transferring files from remote servers. We encourage you to continue exploring the various features and capabilities of this library and find the best solution for your specific needs.

Here are some common questions that people may ask about Python Pysftp’s Get_r function:

  1. What is Python Pysftp’s Get_r function?
  2. How does Get_r work on Linux?
  3. Why does Get_r not work on Windows?
  4. Is there a solution to make Get_r work on Windows?

Let’s answer each of these questions:

  1. What is Python Pysftp’s Get_r function?
    Get_r is a function in the Python Pysftp library that allows users to download multiple files from a remote server using SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol).
  2. How does Get_r work on Linux?
    Get_r works flawlessly on Linux because it uses the Linux command line tool scp to download files from the remote server. Since scp is a native Linux tool, it integrates seamlessly with Pysftp.
  3. Why does Get_r not work on Windows?
    Get_r may not work on Windows because scp is not a native Windows tool. Therefore, Pysftp has to use a different method to download files from the remote server on Windows. This can sometimes cause compatibility issues or errors.
  4. Is there a solution to make Get_r work on Windows?
    Yes, there are several solutions to make Get_r work on Windows. One solution is to install the pscp tool from the PuTTY suite and add it to the PATH environment variable. Another solution is to use the WinSCP library, which is a Windows-compatible SFTP client that can be integrated with Pysftp. However, both of these solutions require additional setup and configuration.

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