Is there a way to limit the speed of scp (or rsync)? I couldn't find any information in the man page, nor on the internet.


From the man page: -l limit Limits the used bandwidth, specified in Kbit/s.

  • 1
    Plus is you want to do it with rsync, you need to specify/add the -e "ssh -l xxx" on the command – Leo Oct 21 '10 at 13:46
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    ssh -l xxx means login as user xxx. – Cristian Ciupitu Oct 21 '10 at 14:06
  • I'm very sorry. I did not check my work (I hate when people do that here!!) rsync uses this according to the man page: --bwlimit=KBPS limit I/O bandwidth; KBytes per second. I've not tested it, but it does say that this is for daemon mode. – Leo Oct 21 '10 at 14:16
  • everybody says they have great success with the -l option in scp, but I'm trying it on my raspberry pi and it seems to be ignored. No matter what I set it to, it maxes out my bandwidth. – Stu Dec 25 '12 at 1:21
  • @Stu I tested it on a Raspberry Pi with the default software installed. And the -l option works as advertised in the man page. The transfer speed fluctuates a bit, but it appears to keep the right speed on average. – kasperd Nov 24 '16 at 22:25

I'm not convinced the -l setting works properly with big values: On my RHEL6 system if see:

-l not specified

  • Expected: Whatever the wan can handle
  • Actual: 20 Megabytes per second

-l 8000

  • Expected: 1 Megabyte per second
  • Actual: 1 Megabyte per second

-l 80000

  • Expected: 10 Megabytes per second
  • Actual: 150 Kilobytes per second

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