The overall idea is: I have an Android phone and I would like to copy the files in a folder from the phone (which is running an SSH server, that's how I connect to it) to a harddrive connected to my Raspberry Pi.

(I want to know, for sure, what files on my Android were copied to the Harddrive, which is why I have the filenames get a _c amended to them. (So 20190321.jpg becomes 20190321_c.jpg on my phone.) That should show me, without doubt, that I can delete the file on my Android since it was successfully copied to the Harddrive.)

I am decently familiar with Python, but this is the most "advanced" program I've made. The SSH stuff was put together via trial/error and lots of SE/Google searching.

Any suggestions, from PEP8 conventions, to better workflow, are very much appreciated! I tried to handle errors correctly, but am curious if the quit() in the exceptions is what I want to do, or if that's not how it should be handled. (Note the ssh.close() // quit() are repeated in both exceptions.)

I know some of my docstrings are rather obvious, but I keep reading it's best practice to include them, but any tips are appreciated there too.

The SublimeText linter doesn't show any PEP8 suggestions, so I think I'm doing good so far on that point, but of course defer to your wise judgement :) Also, is there a "best practice" to the order my functions should be in?

A final note - this should copy the files, and all metadata/EXIF data, etc. so that I don't leave any parts out. AFAIK it does, just thought to mention here in case sftp.get() strips something out that I won't notice until later.

Edit: Ah, forgot to mention: you'll note that sometimes I do directory + filename and another I do os.path.join(directory, filename)...any big difference I those or would it just be user preference?

import paramiko as pmko
import os
from PIL import Image
import re

def get_date_taken(path):
    This will be implemented later and is currently
    just to test how to get EXIF data from photos.
    return Image.open(path)._getexif()[36867]

def list_files(directory, filetype, ssh):
    This will scan a directory for the filetype,
    which is passed as `.jpg`, or `.mp3`, etc. and return
    a list of those files.
    print("Collecting filenames of all photos in", directory)
    distantFiles = list()
    filePath = '/storage/emulated/0/' + directory
    filePattern = '"*' + filetype + '"'
    rawcommand = 'find {path} -name {pattern}'
    command = rawcommand.format(path=filePath, pattern=filePattern)
    stdin, stdout, stderr = ssh.exec_command(command)
    filelist = stdout.read().splitlines()
    for afile in filelist:
        (head, filename) = os.path.split(afile)
    return distantFiles

def connect_to_ssh_server(host_ip, port, username, password):
    This will connect to an SSH Server and return the sftp and
    ssh objects
    print("Starting connection to", host_ip)
    ssh = pmko.SSHClient()
        ssh.connect(host_ip, port=port, username=username,
        sftp = ssh.open_sftp()
        return sftp, ssh
    except pmko.ssh_exception.NoValidConnectionsError:
        print("No valid connections for", host_ip)
    except TimeoutError:
        print("Connection attempt timed out when trying to connect to",

def fix_filenames(files, directory, rgx, replacement, sftp):
    for file in files:
        if type(file) != str:
            file = file.decode('utf-8')
        if file.endswith(".jpg_c"):
            print("Fixing", file)
            new_end = re.sub(rgx, replacement, file)
            print(directory + file, " will be in ", directory + new_end)
            sftp.rename(directory + file, directory + new_end)

def download_file(sftp, filename, origin, destination):
    sftp.get(origin + filename, destination + filename, callback=None)

def rename_file(sftp, filename, directory, suffix):
    This will rename a file in a directory with the passed in suffix.
    extention = filename.rsplit(".")[1]
    new_name = re.sub(r"\..*", suffix + extention, filename)
    print(filename, "will become", new_name)
    sftp.rename(directory + filename, os.path.join(directory, new_name))

def copy_all_files(lst, origin_directory, destination, ssh, sftp):
    This copies files from a list, from an origin directory
    to the destination.
    for _file in lst:
        if type(_file) != str:
            _file = _file.decode('utf-8')
        if not bool(re.search(r'\_c\.', _file)):
                download_file(sftp, _file, origin_directory, destination)
                rename_file(sftp, _file, origin_directory, "_c.")
            except FileNotFoundError:
                print("Could not find", origin_directory + _file)
            except OSError:
                print("OSError on", str(os.path.join(
                    origin_directory, _file)), "--------------<<")
            print(_file, "already copied")

def main():
    sftp, ssh = connect_to_ssh_server(
        "", 2222, "testUsr", "supersecretpassword")
    android_path = "DCIM/camera/"
    # use `.*` to copy all filetypes
    files = list_files(android_path, ".*", ssh)
    origin_directory = '/storage/emulated/0/' + android_path
    copy_all_files(files, origin_directory, '/media/pi/My Passport/Galaxy S8/',
                   ssh, sftp)

if __name__ == "__main__":

1 Answer 1


This is decent code, job well done!

I have a few nitpicks,

  • PEP8 violations

    1. Functions and variables should be snake_case
    2. Group your imports

    There are multiple tools out there that checks your code PEP8 violations

  • When joining paths => us pathlib or os.path.join

    Adding paths via string concatenations can be error prone, it is best to use os.path.join(path1, path2)

    For instance it will handle cases when you try to add /a/b/ with /c/d

    You do this in a few places, but not all the time. Stay consistent!

  • extention = filename.rsplit(".")[1]

    You can use root, extentsion = os.path.splittext(filename)

  • You can catch multiple exceptions at once

    except (pmko.ssh_exception.NoValidConnectionsError, TimeoutError):
  • Instead of printing what went wrong, try logging

    Print statements are there for a short time, logs are forever

  • if not bool(re.search(r'\_c\.', _file)):

    Here bool is superfluous when no match is found it will return None, which is Falsey

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks so much for your time and comments! 1) Looks like I mostly grouped imports, just need to move the from x import y to the end? 2) Yes! That's exactly what I was trying to figure out, because it's going to happen where I forget to add a trailing /, so the concat won't work. 3) Most excellent, because this also avoids any issue where I have a . in the filename (however rare, it's awesome I can truly split on the extension like that, great tip!), 4) Noted! 5) Thanks for that, I haven't come across logging, will check out!, 6) Noted! ...thanks again, these are excellent points :D \$\endgroup\$
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, just for the record, it's os.path.splitext(), not ...splittext(), as I found after getting an AttributeError. ...which is odd. Perhaps a typo in Python library? Who knows! \$\endgroup\$
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 22:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That is easy to misspell ;). About the imports both PIL and paramiko are 3th party tools, and should be at the end. The PEP8 link has all the rules regarding imports \$\endgroup\$
    – Ludisposed
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 6:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry to ask another question - can you clarify the last point? Do I simply need to remove the bool? (I'm studying up on Falsey/True-y/bool, but maybe a quick explanation here would help quicker. No worries if not, your answer (especially the logging part) have already taught me tons and sent me down a few fun rabbit holes.. :D \$\endgroup\$
    – BruceWayne
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 3:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @BruceWayne No problem! You can either simply remove the bool since None is Falsey or be explicit with if re.search(...) is None \$\endgroup\$
    – Ludisposed
    Commented Mar 22, 2019 at 8:15

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