scp - Secure Copy
Sep 16, 2015

scp or secure copy is a program that allows you to transfer files to/from another machine via SSH. You can think of it as the cp command with SSH added to it. It should be available on all *nix based systems and is available on cygwin if you install it.

Copy a Local File

This command copies a local file to a remote server using scp.

scp /your/file/name user@host:/remote/path/

Copy a Remote File

And of course, you can copy remote files to your local machine.

scp user@host:/your/file/name .

The “.” at the end will download the file to the current folder.


SSH keys can also be used by specifying the -i <path> argument to the beginning of the command.

scp -i /path/to/key user@host:/your/file/name .

Port Changing

If SSH is running on a port other than 22, you can specify it at the beginning just like the key file. With scp, the port argument must be capitalized (P) and cannot be lowercase (p) like it is with ssh.

scp -P 222 user@host:/your/file/name .


Sometimes it can be useful to upload every file in multiple directories recursively. Simply add -r to the command.

scp -r /your/directory/path user@host:/remote/path/