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SCP(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual SCP(1)
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scp -- OpenSSH secure file copy
scp [-346ABCOpqRrsTv] [-c cipher] [-D sftp_server_path] [-F ssh_config]
[-i identity_file] [-J destination] [-l limit] [-o ssh_option]
[-P port] [-S program] source ... target
scp copies files between hosts on a network.
It uses ssh(1) for data transfer, and uses the same authentication and
provides the same security as a login session.
scp will ask for passwords or passphrases if they are needed for authen-
The source and target may be specified as a local pathname, a remote host
with optional path in the form [user@]host:[path], or a URI in the form
scp://[user@]host[:port][/path]. Local file names can be made explicit
using absolute or relative pathnames to avoid scp treating file names
containing `:' as host specifiers.
When copying between two remote hosts, if the URI format is used, a port
cannot be specified on the target if the -R option is used.
The options are as follows:
-3 Copies between two remote hosts are transferred through the local
host. Without this option the data is copied directly between
the two remote hosts. Note that, when using the legacy SCP pro-
tocol (via the -O flag), this option selects batch mode for the
second host as scp cannot ask for passwords or passphrases for
both hosts. This mode is the default.
-4 Forces scp to use IPv4 addresses only.
-6 Forces scp to use IPv6 addresses only.
-A Allows forwarding of ssh-agent(1) to the remote system. The
default is not to forward an authentication agent.
-B Selects batch mode (prevents asking for passwords or
-C Compression enable. Passes the -C flag to ssh(1) to enable com-
Selects the cipher to use for encrypting the data transfer. This
option is directly passed to ssh(1).
When using the SFTP protocol support via -M, connect directly to
a local SFTP server program rather than a remote one via ssh(1).
This option may be useful in debugging the client and server.
Specifies an alternative per-user configuration file for ssh.
This option is directly passed to ssh(1).
Selects the file from which the identity (private key) for public
key authentication is read. This option is directly passed to
Connect to the target host by first making an scp connection to
the jump host described by destination and then establishing a
TCP forwarding to the ultimate destination from there. Multiple
jump hops may be specified separated by comma characters. This
is a shortcut to specify a ProxyJump configuration directive.
This option is directly passed to ssh(1).
Limits the used bandwidth, specified in Kbit/s.
-O Use the legacy SCP protocol for file transfers instead of the
SFTP protocol. Forcing the use of the SCP protocol may be neces-
sary for servers that do not implement SFTP, for backwards-com-
patibility for particular filename wildcard patterns and for
expanding paths with a `~' prefix for older SFTP servers.
Can be used to pass options to ssh in the format used in
ssh_config(5). This is useful for specifying options for which
there is no separate scp command-line flag. For full details of
the options listed below, and their possible values, see
Specifies the port to connect to on the remote host. Note that
this option is written with a capital `P', because -p is already
reserved for preserving the times and mode bits of the file.
-p Preserves modification times, access times, and file mode bits
from the source file.
-q Quiet mode: disables the progress meter as well as warning and
diagnostic messages from ssh(1).
-R Copies between two remote hosts are performed by connecting to
the origin host and executing scp there. This requires that scp
running on the origin host can authenticate to the destination
host without requiring a password.
-r Recursively copy entire directories. Note that scp follows sym-
bolic links encountered in the tree traversal.
Name of program to use for the encrypted connection. The program
must understand ssh(1) options.
-T Disable strict filename checking. By default when copying files
from a remote host to a local directory scp checks that the
received filenames match those requested on the command-line to
prevent the remote end from sending unexpected or unwanted files.
Because of differences in how various operating systems and
shells interpret filename wildcards, these checks may cause
wanted files to be rejected. This option disables these checks
at the expense of fully trusting that the server will not send
-v Verbose mode. Causes scp and ssh(1) to print debugging messages
about their progress. This is helpful in debugging connection,
authentication, and configuration problems.
The scp utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
sftp(1), ssh(1), ssh-add(1), ssh-agent(1), ssh-keygen(1), ssh_config(5),
scp is based on the rcp program in BSD source code from the Regents of
the University of California.
Since OpenSSH 9.0, scp has used the SFTP protocol for transfers by
Timo Rinne <email@example.com>
Tatu Ylonen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The legacy SCP protocol (selected by the -O flag) requires execution of
the remote user's shell to perform glob(3) pattern matching. This
requires careful quoting of any characters that have special meaning to
the remote shell, such as quote characters.
NetBSD 10.99 September 19 2022 NetBSD 10.99