Linux command to copy files over ssh

Command Name : scp

scp stands for secure cp (copy), which means that you can copy files across an ssh connection that will be encrypted, and therefore secured.

You can this way copy files from or to a remote server, you can even copy files from one remote server to another remote server, without passing through your PC.


scp [[user@]from-host:]source-file [[user@]to-host:][destination-file]

“from-host” – Is the name or IP of the host where the source file is, this can be omitted if the from-host is the host where you are actually issuing the command

“user” – Is the user which have the right to access the file and directory that is supposed to be copied in the cas of the from-host and the user who has the rights to write in the to-host

“source-file” – Is the file or files that are going to be copied to the destination host, it can be a directory but in that case you need to specify the -r option to copy the contents of the directory

“destination-file” – Is the name that the copied file is going to take in the to-host, if none is given all copied files are going to maintain its names

More Options

-p    Preserves the modification and access times, as well as the permissions of the source-file in the destination-file
-q    Do not display the progress bar
-r    Recursive, so it copies the contents of the source-file (directory in this case) recursively
-v    Displays debugging messages


scp *.txt [email protected]:/home/user/

This will copy all files with .txt extension to the directory /home/user in the host

scp -r [email protected]:/home/foldernamel/  /local directory/

This is going to recursively copy all files from miguel’s Home directory on host to his Home directory in host.


To use this command you need to have open-ssh installed in the hosts.



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