Copying multiple files simultaneously using scp utility

Happy New Year to all.

I have been using the Secure Copy (scp) utility for copying files between my local server and development server. Sometimes I have to copy more than one file. Previously I used to copy the files one at a time. This is very annoying, as you have to type the password every time you use the command . But it is possible to copy multiple files using scp, just like the copy (cp) utility.

When you have to copy multiple files to your remote server, the syntax is similar to the cp command.

scp file1.sql file2.sh joyce@joycebabu.com:~/upload

Where file1.sql and file2.sh are the files to be copied, joyce is the username, joycebabu.com is the hostname and ~/upload is the destination directory on the remote server.

In order to download multiple files from the remote server, the command to be used is

scp joyce@joycebabu.com:"file1.log file2.log" ~/logs

Where file1.log and file2.log are the files to be downloaded and ~/logs is the destination directory on the local server. Notice the quotes around the filenames. This ensures that the filenames list is not parsed by the local shell and is passed to the remote shell. Similarly, when you want to download files using wildcards (*.php, files_?.log etc), you should enclose the name within quotes to ensure that the expansion is done by the remote server.

The -r option can be used to copy directories recursively.

scp -r joyce@joycebabu.com:~/logs ~/logs

This may not be a lifesaver tip and the time gained by this method may be small. After all, when a large number of files are to be transferred, I use FTP or tar my files and copy it. But at times when things go wrong, even this small gain can help.

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