Hoping to get a working example of SFTP in PHP

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Hoping to get a working example of SFTP in PHP

David Spector
This question may be considered off-topic, since is not directly about
using the OpenSSL library. Let me know if you want me to delete this
posting.

I have a question about uploading a file (text.txt) securely in PHP
using the SFTP protocol and a public/private key pair. I have posted
this question is several fora, but no one seems to know for sure how to
do it. Although I've received much advice, none of the actual published
examples are known to work, and do not work for me. I know my parameters
are okay, since they work in CoreFTP and PuTTY, two manual applications
that implement SFTP with private keys. Also, a short FTP insecure
example works perfectly for me. There seem to be many subtle
undocumented issues with getting any of the published example code to
work. I'm inexperienced with SFTP in PHP and am hoping to locate a
working example.

So far I have tried a number of examples using the ssh2 PHP extension
and the cURL PHP extension. They fail, and the error messages, if any,
are uninformative.

A little background:

I do website development work for two small companies on a Windows
computer (Apache/PHP 7), uploading to a remote production server
(VPS/cPanel/Centos). My local software versions are: Windows 10
Hone/2004, Bitnami WAMP/7.4.13-0, Apache/2.4.46 (Win64), OpenSSL/1.1.1h,
PHP/7.4.13, libssh2/1.9.0.

Where I am now is that I used cPanel on the remote server to install an
SSH/SFTP public key for a particular account. I then copied the
generated encrypted x.key and x.ppk private key files to my local
computer. Now I am ready to upload files securely, if only PHP made the
task easy. Unfortunately, it does not.

I know that phpseclib is available, but it is a very large PHP source
code library, so I'd rather use the php_ssh2.dll or cURL PHP extension,
the OpenSSL PHP extension (if it can do SFTP), or something similar.

In summary, I'm looking for someone who has got SFTP file upload with
private key working in PHP to share their code with me. I pledge to test
the code and post it further to help others with this difficult but
widely useful problem.