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Robot Framework test library for SSH and SFTP

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SSHLibrary is a Robot Framework test library for SSH and SFTP. The project is hosted on GitHub and downloads can be found from PyPI.

SSHLibrary is operating system independent and supports Python 2.7 as well as Python 3.4 or newer. In addition to the normal Python interpreter, it also works with Jython 2.7.

The library has the following main usages:

  • Executing commands on the remote machine, either with blocking or non-blocking behavior.

  • Writing and reading in an interactive shell.

  • Transferring files and directories over SFTP.

  • Ensuring that files and directories exist on the remote machine.


See keyword documentation for available keywords and more information about the library in general.

For general information about using test libraries with Robot Framework, see Robot Framework User Guide.


The recommended installation method is using pip:

pip install --upgrade robotframework-sshlibrary

Running this command installs also the latest Robot Framework, paramiko and scp versions. The minimum supported paramiko version is 1.15.3 and minimum supported scp version is 0.13.0. The --upgrade option can be omitted when installing the library for the first time.

With recent versions of pip it is possible to install directly from the GitHub repository. To install latest source from the master branch, use this command:

pip install git+

Alternatively you can download the source distribution from PyPI, extract it, and install it using one of the following depending are you using Python or Jython:

python install
jython install

A benefit of using pip is that it automatically installs scp, paramiko and Cryptography modules (or PyCrypto if paramiko version < 2.0) that SSHLibrary requires on Python.

On Jython, SSHLibrary requires Trilead SSH JAR distribution. You need to download Trilead SSH JAR distribution and add it to CLASSPATH.

On Windows operating system, when using Python version < 3.0, SSHLibrary will require win_inet_pton. The minimum supported win_inet_pton version is 1.1.0.

For creating SSH tunnels robotbackgroundlogger > 1.2 is also a requirement.


When installing SSHLibrary in a container (eg. Alpine Linux) there are more dependencies that must be installed: gcc, make, openssl-dev, musl-dev and libffi-dev. These packages can be installed using:

apk add gcc make openssl-dev musl-dev libffi-dev


To use SSHLibrary in Robot Framework tests, the library needs to first be imported using the Library setting as any other library.

When using Robot Framework, it is generally recommended to write as easy-to-understand tests as possible. The keywords provided by SSHLibrary are pretty low level and it is typically a good idea to write tests using Robot Framework’s higher level keywords that utilize SSHLibrary keywords internally. This is illustrated by the following example where SSHLibrary keywords like Open Connection and Login are grouped together in a higher level keyword like Open Connection And Log In.

*** Settings ***
Documentation          <s>This example demonstrates executing a command on a remote machine</s>
...                    <s>and getting its output.</s>
...                    <s>Notice how connections are handled as part of the suite setup and</s>
...                    <s>teardown. This saves some time when executing several test cases.</s>

Library                SSHLibrary
Suite Setup            Open Connection And Log In
Suite Teardown         Close All Connections

*** Variables ***
${HOST}                <s>localhost</s>
${USERNAME}            <s>test</s>
${PASSWORD}            <s>test</s>

*** Test Cases ***
Execute Command And Verify Output
    [Documentation]    <s>Execute Command can be used to run commands on the remote machine.</s>
    ...                <s>The keyword returns the standard output by default.</s>
    ${output}=         Execute Command    <s>echo Hello SSHLibrary!</s>
    Should Be Equal    ${output}          <s>Hello SSHLibrary!</s>

*** Keywords ***
Open Connection And Log In
   Open Connection     ${HOST}
   Login               ${USERNAME}        ${PASSWORD}


If the provided documentation is not enough, there are various support forums available:

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