amazon-web-services cli - scp(secure copy)to ec2 instance without password

public remote (11)

I've used below command to copy from local linux Centos 7 to AWS EC2.

scp -i user_key.pem file.txt [email protected]:/home/ec2-user

I have an EC2 instance running (FreeBSD 9 AMI ami-8cce3fe5), and I can ssh into it using my amazon-created key file without password prompt, no problem.

However, when I want to copy a file to the instance using scp I am asked to enter a password:

scp somefile.txt -i mykey.pem [email protected]:/


Any ideas why this is happening/how it can be prevented?

lets assume that your pem file and somefile.txt you want to send is in Downloads folder

scp -i ~/Downloads/mykey.pem ~/Downloads/somefile.txt [email protected]:~/

let me know if it doesn't work

Making siliconerockstar's comment an answer since it worked for me

scp -i kp1.pem ./file.txt [email protected]:/home/ec2-user

I was hung up on this because I was specifying my public key file in

scp -i [private key file path]

When I caught that mistake and changed it to the private key path instead, I was all set.

My hadoopec2cluster.pem file was the only one in the directory on my local mac, couldn't scp it to aws using scp -i hadoopec2cluster.pem hadoopec2cluster.pem [email protected]:~.

Copied hadoopec2cluster.pem to hadoopec2cluster_2.pem and then scp -i hadoopec2cluster.pem hadoopec2cluster_2.pem [email protected]:~. Voila!

In your case, the user root won't have any issues. But in certain cases where you're required to login under SSH as a different user, make sure the directory you're scp-ing has adequate permissions for the user you're SSH-ing.

Just tested:

Run the following command:

sudo shred -u /etc/ssh/*_key /etc/ssh/*


  1. create ami (image of the ec2).
  2. launch from new ami(image) from step no 2 chose new keys.

scp -i /home/barkat/Downloads/LamppServer.pem lampp_x64_12.04.tar.gz

this will be very helpful to all of you guys

I figured it out. I had the arguments in the wrong order. This works:

scp -i mykey.pem somefile.txt [email protected]:/

amazon-web-services amazon-ec2 ssh scp pem