By: Linto

Copying multiple files simultaneously using scp

To copy files from a local system to remote server or remote server to local system, we can use the command 'scp' . 'scp' stands for 'secure copy' and it is a command used for copying files through terminal. We can use 'scp' in Linux, Windows and Mac.

Copying Single File To Server From Local System

The basic syntax for copying files from local system to remote server is,

scp source/filename [username]@[host]:destination

Here source is the source location, i.e, from where we want to copy files. Username         is the user in the remote system,  host is the address of the server and  destination       means the location to which we want to copy files.


scp /home/myfile.docx


Copying Single File From Server To Local System

Syntax is,

scp [username]@[host]:source/filename  [destination]


scp  /home/


Copying Multiple Files

If we need to copy multiple files from a location instead of copying the complete folder, we can achieve this by specifying the required files in the same command separated by space. i.e, it should be like,

scp source/file file2 file3 [user@server]/destination

If needed, it is also possible to copy from different locations. We just need to provide them in a space separated list.


Copying Folder

Suppose we need to transfer a folder and its contents from a server or to a server instead of a file, we need a small change in the command. We need to use '-r' to specify that we need to recursively process the folder and its contents.


scp -r /home/myfolder

It will copy the folder and all the files in the folder to the destination location.

scp -r /home/myfolder/*

This command will copy all the files in the specified location to the destination

It is also possible to copy files between two remote servers. If we need to copy files from server-1 to server-2, we can use the following command,

scp [user@server-1]/source/file  [user@server-2]/destination/

Copy Files To a Specific Port (Linux)

To copy files to the server at a specific port, we need to make some changes in the ssh configuration.  First we need to install ssh, typing the command

apt-get install openssh-server”.

After ssh is installed, go to /etc/ssh/ and edit the file sshd_config as root. Change the port number to the one which we want to use. By default, the     port is set to 22. We can change it. After changing the port number, we may   need to restart ssh.

/etc/init.d/ssh restart 

Now we have set a new port for listening ssh, and in order to copy files, we may need to specify the port number also. It should be like this, 

scp -P [port-no] [user@server]/source/file destination



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