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How to use SCP command to transfer files in Linux?

SCP or Safe Copy is one of the many handy Linux command line utilities. Allows you to securely copy files and folders between two systems or locations.

SCP allows users to copy a file or directory from the local system to the remote system or vice versa. You can even go a step further and copy files between two remote systems using the local system.

During data transfer, files and passwords are encrypted to protect sensitive data from spying. In this article, we will discuss the SCP command and everything you need to know about transferring files directly.

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Like any other command line tool, the SCP command follows a common syntax that we must follow when using the tool.

scp -flag [email protected]:/filePath [email protected]:/finalPath

Here is a detailed description of the syntax.

  • -Flag : This is a control option that you can specify when you use the command.
  • [email protected]:/filePath : This is the username and public IP address of the source, followed by the path to the file you want to copy.
  • [email protected]:/finalPath : This is the target user name and public IP address where you want to store the file.

As you can see, there’s not much about the team itself. These are the control options you can use with SCP.

  • -P : Allows you to specify the remote host’s ssh port if it is not the default 22.
  • -p : This flag is used to store the time the file was modified and opened.
  • -q : Use this function to delete messages from the progress counter and messages without errors.
  • -C : This flag forces SCP to compress the data when it sends it to the target computer.
  • -r : Tells SCP to copy files recursively.
  • -3 : Redirects the traffic on which the command was issued. This flag only applies when you use the device to copy files between two remote systems.
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Note that since SCP requires SSH to transfer data, it needs an SSH key or password to authenticate and access the remote systems it needs to work with.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you must have at least read permission on the source file and write permission on the destination computer in order to successfully copy the files.

SCP distinguishes between local and remote sites with a colon (:). We recommend running the utility in a screen session or in tmux when copying large files.

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Allows you to use the SCP command to copy files between systems.

Copying local files to a remote computer

To copy a local file to a remote computer, use the following command.

scp file.extension [email protected]:/target/directory/path.

As explained above, the file extension here is the full name of the file you want to copy. email protected] This is the user name and public IP address of the remote computer, followed by the path where you want to save the file.

You can specify a file name after the destination path to save the file under a different name. If you ignore this, the file will be saved under its original name.

The command to copy directories is the same as the command to copy files. The only difference is that you have to use the -r option for directories to copy everything recursively.

scp -r local/directory/path [email protected]:/destination/directory/path

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Copying files with PCS from remote to local computer

To do this, your SCP command should look like this.

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scp [email protected]:/file/path/file.txt /local/directory

As in the previous commands, [email protected]:/file/path/file.txt is the user name of the remote computer, followed by its public IP address, and then the path to the file. Then you need to enter the target path of the local computer and you are ready to go.

Copy files and directories between two remote systems using SCP

When copying files between two remote systems, you do not need to connect to either computer. You can specify hostnames and SSH passwords and SCP will take care of the rest.

scp [email protected]:/file/path/file.txt [email protected]:/target/path

Note that you will be asked to enter SSH passwords for both devices. Data is sent directly from one host to another, but you can redirect it through the local host you are using by using the -3 flag.

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frequently asked questions

How to transfer files with SCP under Linux?

To copy the directory (and all the files in it), use scp with the -r option. This tells scp to recursively copy the source directory and its contents. You will be asked to enter your password into the original system ( ). The command will not work if you do not enter the correct password.

How do I transfer files from Linux to Linux?

Four ways to transfer files and videos…

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What does the SCP command do under Linux?

SCP (Secure Copy) is a method of transferring encrypted files between Unix or Linux systems. This is a more secure version of the cp (copy) command. SCP enables encryption via an SSH (Secure Shell) connection. This way, the data is protected even if it is intercepted.

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