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Re: Tramp and sftp

From: Stephen Berman
Subject: Re: Tramp and sftp
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:56:49 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:23:31 +0200 Michael Albinus <> 

> 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
> this.

It surprises me that sftp apparently works fine when invoked from bash
but not with tramp-sh.  Or could there also be problems from bash?

>> 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.

This is a host I don't have shell access to, it only accepts ftp.

>> 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. 

Yes, that's the case with openSUSE, which I've used for years.

>                                                            If it is
> something else I don't know what to do.

I've been building a (GNU) Linux From Scratch system, which means I have
to get my hands dirty; I guess I have to get them even dirtier ;-).

Steve Berman

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