I'm using below command to transfer files cross server

scp -rc blowfish /source/directory/* [email protected]:/destination/directory

Is there a way to transfer only files modified files just like update command for cp?

2 Answers 2


rsync is your friend.

rsync -ru /source/directory/* [email protected]:/destination/directory

If you want it to delete files at the destination that no longer exist at the source, add the --delete option.

  • 5
    Although, if you are syncing to a web server and that server caches HTML, you might not want to use --delete, since visitors on a stale page might request an asset that no longer exists.
    – Jackson
    May 24, 2016 at 21:56
  • @Jackson a clean process will not include variable data like caches or configs in the sources. Nov 17, 2018 at 7:40
  • In some cases I have deal with servers outside of my domain that don't have rsync but have scp. Is there a comparable solution, even if it needs a few lines of scripting?
    – jacobq
    Dec 21, 2018 at 14:58
  • 1
    The answer is helpful, but the question was can this be achieved with scp itself.
    – Mladen B.
    Nov 2, 2019 at 20:02
  • 1
    @MladenB. How it can be achieved by scp? Dec 13, 2019 at 4:48

Generally one asks for scp because there is a reason. I.e. can't install rsyncd on the target.

files=`find . -newermt "-3600 secs"`

for file in $files
       sshpass -p "" scp "$file" "root@$IP://usr/local/www/current/$file"
  • Note that "-cmin N" is maybe a tad simpler. While N is a number of minutes the argument can be also a fractional number, e.g. "-cmin -0.5" gives you the files created in the last 30 seconds. In my experiments the argument had to be negative, tough. Feb 16 at 9:07

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