scp is used to make a secure copy of files or directories to and from a remote host. Similar to “cp” except either the source or destination should be a remote host. scp uses secure shell protocol (ssh) to tranfer the file to or from the server.

$ scp source user@host:destination
$ scp user@host:source destination

Useful Options / Examples

scp -r

$ scp -r source destination

Break it down

  • The -r option asks scp to recursively copy an entire directory, copying the directory itself along with all of its contents.

ssh alias

$ scp source alias:destination
$ scp alias:source destination

Break it down

  • If you get sick of typing out user@host, you can create an ssh alias by adding a few lines to ~/.ssh/config. Change “alias” below to something short and easy to type:
Host alias
	Hostname user@host
	User you