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ups_scs_team 06-28-2019 03:09 PM

Unable to use SFXCL with password having special characters
Environment: Windows 2008 Server R2


We are using VBS to transfer files to an SFTP server using SFXCL. The password has special characters such as "&" and "#". When this SFXCL command is fired using this password, it fails to connect. The error logged is "Hostname lookup failed. Format error, connection refused, or not implemented."

We tried escaping the special characters in the password by using hexadecimal equivalent. However, it did not help.

Note that this same password works through SecureFX client.

We also attempted using URL encoding function to send the password, and that did not help either.

We thus request your help to resolve this problem.

Thank you!!

ups_scs_team 06-28-2019 03:14 PM

Unable to use SFXCL with password having special characters
SFXCL version being used is 8.0

berdmann 06-28-2019 04:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi ups_scs_team,

In order to troubleshoot this issue, I will need to collect information from you that is not suitable for the forums.

Please send an email to, with ATTN: Brittney, Forum Thread# 13607 in the subject field.

Can you please include your SecureFX serial number in the email (Help > About SecureFX)?

I would also like to compare trace logs from your successful connection using the SecureFX GUI and the failure case using SFXCL.

To generate the trace log for your success case, please navigate to Options -> Global Options -> File Transfer -> Advanced in SecureFX and enable the "Enable log output to file" option. Once you have successfully enabled the option, specify a location and name for the file. Please refer to the following example:
After enabling logging you will want to connect to the same remote host that you are connecting to with SFXCL via the GUI application to generate the trace log. Please attach the trace log of your successful connection to the email to support.

In order to generate a trace log for the failure case using SFXCL you will need to add the "/Log" command-line option, followed by the path/filename of the desired log-file to your SFXCL command. For example:


SFXCL.exe /S /Headquarters /Log c:\DebugLog.txt /Policies/Mission.txt "c:\My Documents\Presentation.txt"
Running your SFXCL command with the /Log command-line option will generate the trace log of your failed connection. Please attach the trace log of your failed SFXCL attempt to the email to support.

Please do not post your serial number or any trace log data in the forums!!!

ups_scs_team 07-01-2019 09:12 AM

Log files sent
Thank you, Brittany for your quick response! We have emailed the logs according to your instructions to the email address mentioned in your response.
We look forward to hearing from you.


berdmann 07-01-2019 10:42 AM

Hi ups_scs_team,

Did you have a chance to send the logs to I did not receive them.

In general, usernames/passwords that include "@" or ":" or other special characters as part of the username/password are passed on the command line, the command will fail by default because these characters have special meanings to the command shell. The user must substitute those symbols with the hexadecimal equivalent for the command to succeed.

The hexadecimal equivalents to these special characters are as follows:

  Char    Hex Code
  -------  --------
  [space]    %20
    "      %22
    #      %23
    $      %24
    %      %25
    &      %26
    '      %27
    (      %28
    )      %29
    *      %2A
    +      %2B
    ,      %2C
    -      %2D
    .      %2E
    /      %2F
    :      %3A
    ;      %3B
    <      %3C
    =      %3D
    >      %3E
    ?      %3F
    @      %40
    \      %5C
    ^      %5E
    `      %60
    |      %7C

For example, if my username was starflyer and my password was:


...then I would specify the command line as follows:

sfxcl sftp://starflyer:%40%25%2F%2F%5C%5C%3A%2A@hostname/path

Is this information helpful?

ups_scs_team 07-01-2019 02:47 PM

Email with Logs
Hello Brittany,

We did send an email with log files attached couple of hours ago. It was sent from

Let us know if you still have not received these.

We are using hexadecimal characters to substitute the special characters, similar to the way to mention.


berdmann 07-01-2019 05:23 PM

Hi ups_scs_team,

I did receive the logs that you sent the second time!

I have responded to your email.

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