Copy files between two remote NAS via FTP

Published by TheJoe on

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


This article was published more than a year ago, there may have been developments.
Please take this into account.

Today's case is very niche and I'm not sure there are many users who need a mini-guide like today's. But this happened to me and now I'll tell you about it.

I recently purchased an older HP N40L Proliant Microserver, on which I installed openmediavault, a Debian-based distribution that allows you to manage your system exactly like a classic headless Linux system, and easily configure shared resources (SMB/CIFS, NFS, FTP, SSH), Docker, oltre i backup, cron routines… and much more.

Now I have to migrate data from the old NAS to this one.

Unfortunately the old NAS is a piece of electronics without great performance. There is space for a disc, an elementary management of SMB shares, is FTP, a DLNA server and a bittorrent manager that I could never get working. The system formats the disk with a filesystem of its own which I have not found information about online and even inserting the old disk into one of the slots on the HP server the disk is recognized, but the filesystem is not interpreted.

Then, i will copy the data between the two network connected devices, even if the old NAS doesn't have a gigabit port.

I can connect to the HP microserver with any protocol, I think I will use SSH, but to the old NAS I can only connect with SMB or FTP… I'm not particularly thrilled, but I will adjust.

I start connecting to the server:

joe@joe-toshiba:$ ssh -t root@
The authenticity of host 'server_addr (' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])? yes
Warning: Permanently added '' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
root@server_addr's password: 
Linux nas 5.19.0-0.deb11.2-amd64 #1 SMP PREEMPT_DYNAMIC Debian 5.19.11-1~bpo11+1 (2022-10-03) x86_64

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent
permitted by applicable law.
Last login: Sun Nov 27 02:46:35 2022 from

From here I'll have to go to a directory inside one of the disks containing the data. OMV mounts the disks in a directory called /srv/. I have already installed and configured mergerfs, a program that allows two discs with two different contents of “join” in a single resource. Maybe we will talk about it in another article.

root@nas:~# cd /srv/mergerfs/Public/nas/

At this point I already know I want to copy the directory “Public” from the old NAS and all its contents. I'll have to run an FTP command that connects me and starts copying all data in the background. I don't want to have to keep the laptop on for the duration of the operation just so as not to interrupt the launched process.

Look here:  Google photo: "Dear users ... the free ride is over!"

The simplest command I can run is evergreen wget.

# wget -rb ftp://joe:My5ecreTp4ssword@

The option -r allows you to resume the download of a large truncated file (even accidentally) where the download stopped from. While with -b I put the process in the background.

In this way, however, my password would remain unencrypted in the history of the terminal (if you decide not to clear your history). And it would also remain unencrypted among the server processes (ps, top, htop…):

# ps ax | grep wget
271089 ? Rs 26:44 wget -rb ftp://joe:My5ecreTp4ssword@
274190 pts/2 S+ 0:00 grep wget

I could perhaps create a one line script that summarizes the command… but maybe it's easier to create the file .wgetrc that contains the credentials.

## Credentials for the good ol' NAS @

Once the file has been saved in the user's home, I will be able to launch the download via FTP without indicating the credentials.

# wget -rb

If I realize I've made a mistake and want to stop the command that's now in the background I always can “guys” the old fashioned way. As we have seen before “ps ax | grep wget” shows the process and its PID, while “kill PID_ID” it will kill the process (substitute PID_ID with the real PID to kill).


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.


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