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Re: Tramp and sftp

From: Michael Albinus
Subject: Re: Tramp and sftp
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:23:31 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stephen Berman <> writes:

Hi Stephen,

> For a long time I have been able to access a remote directory from Emacs
> via the sftp protocol with Tramp.  I didn't pay any attention to how
> this worked, since it just did.

In the past, the sftp protocol was implemented via tramp-sh.el. This
didn't work reliably, so this has been moved to tramp-gvfs.el starting
with Tramp 2.2.10. Emacs 24.5 is the first version which has bundled

> But on a new system this has now
> failed, and the reason seems to be that, although the system has dbus
> installed, it has neither gvfs nor fuse, so the sftp invocation fails
> with the error "Package `tramp-gvfs' not supported" (from
> tramp-gvfs-file-name-handler).  When I invoke sftp from the shell, it
> succeeds, so that protocol itself does not depend on gvfs or fuse.  I
> tried removing sftp from tramp-gvfs-methods in the hope that this would
> make tramp avoid using gvfs, but it didn't and access again failed.  I
> then tried rebuilding emacs --without-dbus, but this resulted in the
> message "Host ‘’ looks like a remote host, ‘sftp’ can only use
> the local host".  So is there some way to access a remote directory from
> Emacs via the sftp protocol without gvfs and fuse,

No, this is not possible anymore. One fallback would be psftp, part of
the putty package. This package does exist also for GNU/Linux systems.

The other possibility is to use ssh or scp methods for connection. They
don't need dbus and fuse.

> or must I install
> these and configure dbus accordingly?  (And if the latter, I'd be
> grateful for any advice, since I've never done this; on the other system
> that was evidently done by the distribution, on the new system I build
> and configure all the packages myself.)

Which system do you use? If it is a kind of GNU/Linux, the package
manager shall install them w/o further configuration need. If it is
something else I don't know what to do.

> Steve Berman

Best regards, Michael.

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