Temporarily Convert FTP to SCP Using cURL

Whenever you re-host  or modernize a system, whether it be from one platform to another or from one host to another, you will usually have a laundry list of things to do one of which is migration of those pesky one off scripts and jobs.  When you are talking about jobs on a database server, more often than not, they are placed on the cron.  Consider yourself lucky if they are actually running via dbms_scheduler as this does alleviate some of workload as the schedule will be migrated during database instantiation.

Part of my normal routine when I work on these types of jobs, is to first catalog the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ of each script.  It is important to do this because maybe you can document a script that wasn’t well documented before or even find a script that can be retired all together.  Once these questions have been answered, I then decide what MUST change and what SHOULD change.  One of the items that typically falls under the MUST category is migration of FTP to SCP (or equivalent).  This item is usually a MUST either, because of security concerns or because traditional FTP is no longer being installed as part of the base build build in many data centers.  The most important part of setting up SCP is the process of getting the correct ssh keys in place so that SCP can work in a ‘passwordless’ fashion.  Preferably, service accounts are created so that the ssh key of the oracle user is not spread in across too many non-database hosts and in many cases the task must be completed by someone else. Most of the time is nice and can alleviate some of your workload, but what about the times when you thought the other party did what they needed to but didn’t?  I don’t know about you, but it’s always little stuff like this that will bite you at the worst time.  So what do you do when you are in the 11th hour of a conversion, realize they ssh keys are not present, but have to get the job functioning?   Use cURL!

Code Exerpt from typical FTP inside a shell script:


ftp -n ${HOST} <<END_SCRIPT
quote USER ${USER}
quote PASS ${PASSWD}
put ${FILE}
exit 0


Modified code using CURL:


curl -T $FILE -u ${USER}:${PASSWORD} scp://${HOST}/${DEST_PATH}

As you can see, this doesn’t alleviate the security concern of having clear text passwords, but if you ever find yourself in a bind, cannot get FTP or other packages installed that can help with the issue, this is a great temporary work around to get the job done. Remember this should be TEMPORARY and make sure to come back and fix it!



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