SCP(1) BSD General Commands Manual SCP(1)
scp -- secure copy (remote file copy program)
scp [-12346BCpqrv] [-c cipher] [-F ssh_config] [-i identity_file] [-l limit] [-o ssh_option]
[-P port] [-S program] [[user@]host1:]file1 ... [[user@]host2:]file2
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 ssh(1) . Unlike rcp(1) , scp will ask
for passwords or passphrases if they are needed for authentication.
File names may contain a user and host specification to indicate that the file is to be
copied to/from that host. Local file names can be made explicit using absolute or relative
pathnames to avoid scp treating file names containing ':' as host specifiers. Copies
between two remote hosts are also permitted.
The options are as follows:
-1 Forces scp to use protocol 1.
-2 Forces scp to use protocol 2.
-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
this option disables the progress meter.
-4 Forces scp to use IPv4 addresses only.
-6 Forces scp to use IPv6 addresses only.
-B Selects batch mode (prevents asking for passwords or passphrases).
-C Compression enable. Passes the -C flag to ssh(1) to enable compression.
Selects the cipher to use for encrypting the data transfer. This option is directly
passed to ssh(1) .
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 ssh(1) .
Limits the used bandwidth, specified in Kbit/s.
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 writ-
ten with a capital 'P', because -p is already reserved for preserving the times and
modes of the file in rcp(1) .
-p Preserves modification times, access times, and modes from the original file.
-q Quiet mode: disables the progress meter as well as warning and diagnostic messages
from ssh(1) .
-r Recursively copy entire directories. Note that scp follows symbolic links encoun-
tered in the tree traversal.
Name of program to use for the encrypted connection. The program must understand
-v Verbose mode. Causes scp and ssh(1) to print debugging messages about their
progress. This is helpful in debugging connection, authentication, and configura-
The scp utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
rcp(1) , sftp(1) , ssh(1) , ssh-add(1) , ssh-agent(1) , ssh-keygen(1) , ssh_config(5) , sshd(8)
scp is based on the rcp(1) program in BSD source code from the Regents of the University of
Timo Rinne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tatu Ylonen <email@example.com>
BSD December 15, 2017 BSD