Based on the tutorials I've browsed through:

This is the Linux scp command syntax to retrieve file or directory from a remote computer:

scp -r [login name@ip address] : [/path/filename] .

So what exactly is /path/filename on your own computer? What is root? Is it C drive? Is it current User folder? (Windows OS here)

closed as off topic by Rilindo, Tom O'Connor, Tim Brigham, EEAA, Bryan Oct 25 '12 at 22:41

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  • From what machine to what machine do you want to transfer and from what machine are you issuing the command ? – Lucas Kauffman Mar 1 '12 at 16:59

If you're using Windows, you want to download WinSCP.


The . at the end of the command is the destination pathname, so for that command, it is the current directory. The -r option is used to recursively copy directories, so leave it off if you only intend to copy a single file. Also, the spaces on either side of the colon (:) should not be there. Here's an example, with a more complicated destination:

C:\> scp user@myhost.example.com:/home/user/myfile %userprofile%\Desktop\myfile
  • So if I'm using Putty which is executed from my desktop, the "." will download the file to my desktop? – AlxVallejo Mar 1 '12 at 17:04
  • . always refers to your current directory (i.e. what you see before the > in your CMD.EXE prompt. I'm not super-familiar with using PuTTY from the command line. – bonsaiviking Mar 1 '12 at 17:14

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