Create an SFTP-enabled server - AWS Transfer Family

Create an SFTP-enabled server

Secure Shell (SSH) File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a network protocol used for secure transfer of data over the internet. The protocol supports the full security and authentication functionality of SSH. It's widely used to exchange data, including sensitive information between business partners in a variety of industries such as financial services, healthcare, retail, and advertising.


SFTP servers for Transfer Family operate over port 22.

To create an SFTP-enabled server
  1. Open the AWS Transfer Family console at and select Servers from the navigation pane, then choose Create server.

  2. In Choose protocols, select SFTP, and then choose Next.

                        The Choose protocols  console section with
                                SFTP selected.
  3. In Choose an identity provider, choose the identity provider that you want to use to manage user access. You have the following options:

    • Service managed – You store user identities and keys in AWS Transfer Family.

                                The Choose an identity provider console
                                    section with Service managed
    • AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory – You provide an AWS Directory Service directory to access the endpoint. By doing so, you can use credentials stored in your Active Directory to authenticate your users. To learn more about working with AWS Managed Microsoft AD identity providers, see Using the AWS Directory Service identity provider.

                            The Choose an identity provider console section with
                                AWS Directory Service selected.
    • Custom identity provider – Choose either of the following options:

      • Use AWS Lambda to connect your identity provider – You can use an existing identity provider, backed by a Lambda function. You provide the name of the Lambda function. For more information, see Using AWS Lambda to integrate your identity provider.

      • Use Amazon API Gateway to connect your identity provider – You can create an API Gateway method backed by a Lambda function for use as an identity provider. You provide an Amazon API Gateway URL and an invocation role. For more information, see Using Amazon API Gateway to integrate your identity provider.

                            The Choose an identity provider console section with
                                Custom identity provider selected.
  4. Choose Next.

  5. In Choose an endpoint, do the following:

    1. For Endpoint type, choose the Publicly accessible endpoint type. For a VPC hosted endpoint, see Create a server in a virtual private cloud.

    2. (Optional) For Custom hostname, choose None.

      You get a server hostname provided by AWS Transfer Family. The server hostname takes the form

      For a custom hostname, you specify a custom alias for your server endpoint. To learn more about working with custom hostnames, see Working with custom hostnames.

    3. (Optional) For FIPS Enabled, select the FIPS Enabled endpoint check box to ensure that the endpoint complies with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).


      FIPS-enabled endpoints are only available in North American AWS Regions. For available Regions, see AWS Transfer Family endpoints and quotas in the AWS General Reference. For more information about the available FIPS endpoints, see Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 .

    4. Choose Next.

                        The Choose an endpoint console section with
                                Publicly accessible selected.
  6. On the Choose domain page, choose the AWS storage service that you want to use to store and access your data over the selected protocol:

    • Choose Amazon S3 to store and access your files as objects over the selected protocol.

    • Choose Amazon EFS to store and access your files in your Amazon EFS file system over the selected protocol.

    Choose Next.

  7. In Configure additional details, do the following:

    1. For CloudWatch logging, choose one of the following to enable Amazon CloudWatch logging of your user activity:

      • Create a new role to allow Transfer Family to create the IAM role automatically, as long as you have the right permissions to create a new role. The IAM role that is created is called AWSTransferLoggingAccess.

      • Choose an existing role to choose an existing IAM role from your account. Under Logging role, choose the role. This IAM role should include a trust policy with Service set to

        For more information about CloudWatch logging, see Log activity with CloudWatch.

      • You can't view end user activity in CloudWatch if you don't specify a logging role.

      • If you don't want to set up a CloudWatch logging role, choose Choose an existing role, but don't select a logging role.

                                The CloudWatch logging console section
                                    with Create a new role selected.
    2. For Cryptographic algorithm options, choose a security policy that contains the cryptographic algorithms enabled for use by your server.


      By default:

      • If FIPS Enabled endpoint is not selected, the TransferSecurityPolicy-2020-06 security policy is attached to your server.

      • If FIPS Enabled endpoint is selected, the TransferSecurityPolicy-FIPS-2020-06 security policy is attached to your server.

      For more information about security policies, see Working with security policies.

                                The Cryptographic algorithm options
                                    console section with a security policy selected.
    3. (Optional) For Server Host Key, enter an RSA, ED25519, or ECDSA private key that will be used to identify your server when clients connect to it over SFTP. You can also add a description to differentiate among multiple host keys.

      After you create your server, you can add additional host keys. Having multiple host keys is useful if you want to rotate keys or if you want to have different types of keys, such as an RSA key and also an ECDSA key.


      The Server Host Key section is used only for migrating users from an existing SFTP-enabled server.

                                The Server Host Key console
    4. (Optional) For Tags, for Key and Value, enter one or more tags as key-value pairs, and then choose Add tag.

    5. Choose Next.

                                The Tags console section.
    6. (Optional) For Managed workflows, choose workflow IDs (and a corresponding role) that Transfer Family should assume when executing the workflow. You can choose one workflow to execute upon a complete upload, and another to execute upon a partial upload. To learn more about processing your files by using managed workflows, see AWS Transfer Family managed workflows.

                                The Managed workflows console section.
    7. (Optional) You can configure AWS Transfer Family servers to display customized messages such as organizational policies or terms and conditions to your end users. For Display banner, in the Pre-authentication display banner text box, enter the text message that you want to display to your users before they authenticate.

                                The Display banner console section.
    8. (Optional) You can configure the following additional options.

      • SetStat option: enable this option to ignore the error that is generated when a client attempts to use SETSTAT on a file you are uploading to an Amazon S3 bucket. For additional details, see the SetStatOption documentation in the ProtocolDetails.

      • TLS session resumption: this option is only available if you have enabled FTPS as one of the protocols for this server.

      • Passive IP: this option is only available if you have enabled FTPS or FTP as one of the protocols for this server.

  8. In Review and create, review your choices.

    • If you want to edit any of them, choose Edit next to the step.


      You must review each step after the step that you chose to edit.

    • If you have no changes, choose Create server to create your server. You are taken to the Servers page, shown following, where your new server is listed.

It can take a couple of minutes before the status for your new server changes to Online. At that point, your server can perform file operations for your users.

                The Servers console page with the new server ID and a
                    status of Starting.