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How To Copy Files to Another Machine Using Terminal?

Ubuntu 11

In the world of system administration, the ability to copy files from one machine to another is a fundamental skill. This article will guide you through the process of copying files from your local machine to another machine using the terminal.

Quick Answer

To copy files to another machine using the terminal, you can use the SCP (Secure Copy) command. The basic syntax is scp source_file user@destination:/path/to/directory. Replace source_file with the file you want to copy, user with the username on the remote machine, destination with the IP address or hostname of the remote machine, and /path/to/directory with the directory where you want to copy the file.

Introduction to Secure Copy (SCP)

The Secure Copy Protocol (SCP) is a network protocol that allows users to securely transfer files between a local host and a remote host or between two remote hosts. It uses the same authentication and security as the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol.

Prerequisites

Before you start, make sure you have:

  • A terminal application (Terminal, iTerm, etc.)
  • Access to both the local machine and the remote machine
  • The IP address of the remote machine
  • A file to copy

Using SCP to Copy Files

The basic syntax of the scp command is as follows:

scp source_file user@destination:/path/to/directory
  • scp is the command itself.
  • source_file is the file on your local machine that you want to copy.
  • user is the username on the remote machine.
  • destination is the IP address or hostname of the remote machine.
  • /path/to/directory is the directory on the remote machine where you want to copy the file.

For example, to copy a file named example.txt from your local machine to a remote machine with the IP address 192.168.1.100, you would use:

scp example.txt user@192.168.1.100:/home/user/

This command will copy the example.txt file from your local machine to the /home/user/ directory on the remote machine.

Using SCP with a PEM File

If you are using a PEM file for authentication, you can use the -i option followed by the path to the PEM file in the scp command. Here is an example:

scp -i /path/to/your-key.pem source_file user@destination:/path/to/directory
  • -i /path/to/your-key.pem specifies the path to your PEM file.

Troubleshooting

If you encounter any permission issues, make sure you have the necessary permissions to access the remote machine’s file system. You may need to use sudo or contact the system administrator for assistance.

Conclusion

The scp command is a powerful tool for copying files between machines. It’s secure, efficient, and easy to use. By understanding its basic syntax and options, you can greatly simplify the process of managing files across different machines.

For more information on the scp command, you can check the SCP Man Page or use the man scp command in your terminal to access the manual pages for scp.

Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Always double-check your commands before executing them to prevent any unwanted file operations. Happy copying!

What is the difference between SCP and SSH?

SCP (Secure Copy Protocol) is a network protocol that allows users to securely transfer files between a local host and a remote host or between two remote hosts. It uses the same authentication and security as the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol. While SCP is used for copying files, SSH is a cryptographic network protocol used for secure remote login, command execution, and file transfer.

Can I copy multiple files at once using SCP?

Yes, you can copy multiple files at once using SCP. Simply specify multiple source files separated by spaces in the scp command. For example:

scp file1.txt file2.txt user@destination:/path/to/directory

This command will copy both file1.txt and file2.txt to the specified directory on the remote machine.

How can I copy a directory using SCP?

To copy a directory and its contents using SCP, you can use the -r option. This option tells SCP to copy directories recursively. For example:

scp -r directory user@destination:/path/to/directory

This command will copy the entire directory and its contents to the specified directory on the remote machine.

Can I specify a different port for SCP?

Yes, you can specify a different port for SCP using the -P option followed by the port number. For example:

scp -P 2222 file.txt user@destination:/path/to/directory

This command will use port 2222 for the SCP connection instead of the default SSH port (22).

How can I copy files from a remote machine to my local machine using SCP?

To copy files from a remote machine to your local machine using SCP, you can reverse the source and destination in the scp command. For example:

scp user@remote:/path/to/file.txt /local/directory/

This command will copy the file.txt from the remote machine to the specified directory on your local machine.

Is it possible to resume a partially copied file using SCP?

No, SCP does not have a built-in resume feature. If a file transfer is interrupted, you will need to start the transfer again from the beginning. However, you can use tools like rsync or scp -C (compression option) to speed up subsequent transfers by skipping files that have already been copied.

Can I use wildcards with SCP to copy multiple files that match a pattern?

No, SCP does not support wildcards for file selection. However, you can use tools like tar or zip to create an archive of the files you want to copy, and then use SCP to transfer the archive file to the remote machine. Once transferred, you can extract the files from the archive on the remote machine.

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