SCP does not seem to preserve ownership stamps even if used with -p option.

scp -p /mysql/serv/data_summary.* some_server:/mysql/test/

The files are owned by mysql and I want the same ownership to be assigned on the destination server. I need to copy files as root on both servers due to some admin issues. I can not change to mysql@

2 Answers 2


Try to use rsync, it has a lot more benefits besides keeping ownership, permissions and incremental copies:

rsync -av source

Besides that, since rsync uses ssh, it should work where scp works.

  • ssh supports -i myfile.pem and rsync does not seem to have -i option
    – shantanuo
    Mar 20, 2012 at 8:13
  • 5
    @shantanuo: Use rsync -e 'ssh -i myfile.pem' -insert_other_rsync_options_here Mar 20, 2012 at 8:25

That is correct. "-p" does not do that. See the man page:

     -p      Preserves modification times, access times, and modes from the
             original file.

Notice it says times and modes, NOT user/group ownership. You will have better luck with "rsync", as it has various capabilities around preserving permissions when copying between disparate systems. "-p" in rsync, for example.

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