shell - such - ssh copy folder from local to remote

How to copy a folder from remote to local using scp? (8)

And if you have one hell of a files to download from the remote location and if you don't much care about security, try changing the scp default encryption (Triple-DES) to something like 'blowfish'.

This will reduce file copying time drastically.

scp -c blowfish -r [email protected]:/path/to/foo /home/user/Desktop/

How to copy a folder from remote to local host using scp?

I use ssh to log in my server.
Then, I would like to copy the remote folder foo to local /home/user/Desktop.

How to achieve this?

Better to first compress catalog on remote server:

tar czfP backup.tar.gz /path/to/catalog

Secondly, download from remote:

scp [email protected]:/path/to/backup.tar.gz .

At the end, extract the files:

tar -xzvf backup.tar.gz

I dont know why but I was had to use local folder before source server directive . to make it work

scp -r . [email protected]:/usr/share/nginx/www/

In case you run into "Too many authentication failures", specify the exact SSH key you have added to your severs ssh server:

scp -r -i /path/to/local/key [email protected]:/path/to/folder /your/local/target/dir

To copy all from Local Location to Remote Location (Upload)

scp -r /path/from/destination [email protected]:/path/to/destination

To copy all from Remote Location to Local Location (Download)

scp -r [email protected]:/path/from/destination /path/to/destination

Custom Port where xxxx is custom port number

 scp -r -P xxxx [email protected]:/path/from/destination /path/to/destination

Copy on current directory from Remote to Local

scp -r [email protected]:/path/from/file .


  1. -r Recursively copy all directories and files
  2. Always use full location from /, Get full location by pwd
  3. scp will replace all existing files
  4. hostname will be hostname or IP address
  5. if custom port is needed (besides port 22) use -P portnumber
  6. . (dot) - it means current working directory, So download/copy from server and paste here only.

Note: Sometimes the custom port will not work due to the port not being allowed in the firewall, so make sure that custom port is allowed in the firewall for incoming and outgoing connection

To use full power of scp you need to go through next steps:

  1. Public key authorisation
  2. Create ssh aliases

Then, for example if you'll have this ~/.ssh/config:

Host test
    User testuser
    Port 22022

Host prod
    User produser
    Port 22022

you'll save yourself from password entry and simplify scp syntax like this:

scp -r prod:/path/foo /home/user/Desktop   # copy to local
scp -r prod:/path/foo test:/tmp            # copy from remote prod to remote test

More over, you will be able to use remote path-completion:

scp test:/var/log/  # press tab twice
Display all 151 possibilities? (y or n)


For enabling remote bash-completion you need to have bash-shell on both <source> and <target> hosts, and properly working bash-completion. For more information see related questions:

How to enable autocompletion for remote paths when using scp?
SCP filename tab completion

What I always use is:

scp -r [email protected]:/path/to/server/source/folder/  .

. (dot) : it means current folder. so copy from server and paste here only.

IP : can be an IP address like or it can be host like