Linux Tactic

Efficient File Transfer Methods for Linux Servers

Transferring files between Linux servers can be a complicated process, but there are a few reliable methods that can make the task much more manageable. In this article, we will explore two methods of transferring files: SCP and Netcat.

Using SCP (SSH) to Transfer Files

SCP (Secure Copy) is a file transfer utility that uses SSH (Secure Shell) protocol to safely transfer files between computers. SCP is built into most Linux distributions and is a straightforward way to transfer files between Linux servers.

Let’s go over the basics of transferring files with SCP.

Uploading Files via SCP

To transfer a file from your local computer to a remote server, you can use the “scp” command with the following syntax:

scp /path/to/local/file username@remote:/path/to/remote/folder/

For example, to transfer a file called “example.txt” located in your Downloads folder to the remote server’s “shared” folder, you would enter the following command:

scp ~/Downloads/example.txt username@remote:/home/username/shared/

Remember to replace “username” and “remote” with the appropriate server credentials and IP address, respectively.

Downloading Files via SCP

To retrieve a file from a remote server onto your local machine, you can use the “scp” command with the following syntax:

scp username@remote:/path/to/remote/file /path/to/local/folder/

For example, to download a file called “example.txt” located in the remote server’s “shared” folder to your Downloads folder, you would enter the following command:

scp username@remote:/home/username/shared/example.txt ~/Downloads/

SCP Command-Line Options

There are several command-line options that can enhance the functionality of SCP. Here are a few commonly used options:

– -r: This option tells SCP to transfer entire directories recursively.

– -v: This option enables verbose output, which can be helpful for debugging issues. – -P: This option allows you to specify a custom SSH port.

Transferring Files using Netcat

Netcat is another reliable way to transfer files between Linux servers. It’s a versatile tool that can send and receive data over TCP or UDP connections.

Although Netcat is not built into most Linux distributions, it’s easy to install.

Netcat Basics and Installation

To install Netcat, simply run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install netcat

Once installed, you can use Netcat to transfer files between servers.

Transferring Files with Netcat

To transfer a single file using Netcat, you can use the following command on the sending server:

nc -l -p 1234 < filename

This command listens for incoming connections on port 1234 and sends the contents of “filename.”

On the receiving server, you can use the following command to receive the file:

nc sending_server_ip 1234 > filename

This command connects to the sending server’s IP address on port 1234 and receives the file using the name “filename.”

Transferring Directories with Netcat

Transferring entire directories with Netcat is a bit more complex. Here are the steps:

– Tar the directory you want to send: tar -czf directory.tar.gz directory/

– Send the tarball with Netcat: nc -l -p 1234 < directory.tar.gz

– Receive the tarball on the receiving server: nc sending_server_ip 1234 > directory.tar.gz

– Extract the tarball: tar -xzf directory.tar.gz


Transferring files between Linux servers doesn’t have to be a complicated process. By using SCP or Netcat, you can securely and efficiently transfer your files and directories.

Give these methods a try the next time you need to transfer files between servers.

3) Transferring Files using FTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to transfer large files between computers. FTP works on the client-server model, where the client system initiates a connection to the server and can download or upload files.

To start transferring files using FTP, you’ll first need to install and configure the FTP service.

Installing and Starting FTP Service

Most Linux distributions have an FTP server already installed, so you just need to start it. To start the FTP server, you’ll first need to edit the configuration file.

You can do that using the following command:

sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf

Inside the configuration file, you’ll need to make sure that the following properties are set:

– “anonymous_enable=NO” – This prevents anonymous users from having access to the FTP server. – “local_enable=YES” – Enables local users to access the FTP server.

After setting the properties, you can save the file and exit. To start the FTP service, enter the following command in your terminal:

sudo systemctl start vsftpd.service

Downloading Files via FTP

To download files from a remote FTP server, you’ll need to use an FTP client such as FileZilla or WinSCP. These programs can be easily downloaded and installed on your local machine or server.

After opening your FTP client, you’ll need to enter the server’s IP address, port number, and login credentials to connect to the server. Once connected, locate the file you want to download and right-click on it.

Select “Download” or “Get” to save the file to your local machine.

Uploading Files via FTP

To upload files to a remote FTP server, you’ll need to access the server using an FTP client and log in using your credentials. After logging in, you can navigate to the folder where you want to upload the files.

Then, click on the “Upload” or “Send” option and select the files you want to send. Once the files are selected, the upload process will begin.

4) Downloading Files Using Python HTTP Server

Python has a built-in HTTP server module that can be used to share files over the internet. The HTTP server module can be used to download files from a server and is particularly useful for small websites or simple file-sharing needs.

Setting up Python Server

To set up a Python server, you’ll need to create a Python script that creates an HTTP server. Open your terminal and enter the following command to create a new file:


Then, enter the following code into the file:

import http.server

import socketserver

PORT = 8000

Handler = http.server.SimpleHTTPRequestHandler

with socketserver.TCPServer((“”, PORT), Handler) as httpd:

print(“serving at port”, PORT)


This script creates an HTTP server listening on port 8000 and serves the files from the current directory. Save the file and exit by pressing CTRL + X and Y.

Next, start the server by running the following command in your terminal:


Download Files Using Python Server

Once you’ve set up your Python HTTP server, you can download files from it using a web browser. Open your web browser and type in the following address:


This will show the contents of the directory where you started the Python HTTP server.

To download a file, simply click on the file’s hyperlink to download it to your local machine.


Transferring files between computers is an essential task. By using FTP or the Python HTTP server, you can transfer your files reliably and securely.

The FTP service is an efficient and easy-to-use method to transfer files between servers. On the other hand, the Python HTTP server can be useful for file-sharing needs on smaller sites.

Try these methods in your next file transfer task. 5)


In today’s world, transferring files between computers is a common task. There are several file transfer methods available in the world of Linux servers, but some of them stand out as the most efficient and reliable.

In this article, we explored four different file transfer methods: SCP, Netcat, FTP, and Python HTTP Server. SCP (SSH) is a straightforward and secure method of transferring files between servers using the command line interface.

Netcat, another command-line tool, is an excellent option for transferring large files and directories, with added benefits such as transfer speed and reliability. FTP is an old and reliable file transfer protocol that is simple to use and excellent for transferring large files.

It requires a client-server model and can be easily installed on most Linux distributions, making it a great option for simple file transfers between servers. Finally, the Python HTTP server is a built-in tool that can be used to share files over the internet.

It’s particularly useful for small websites or simple file-sharing needs and is easy to set up using Python. In conclusion, by exploring the various file transfer methods available for Linux servers, we’ve learned that there are many reliable options available.

The choice of file transfer method will depend on the use case, server setup, and desired functionality. Whatever your needs, there is always a reliable and secure option available for transferring files between servers.

In this article, we have explored four efficient and reliable methods for transferring files between Linux servers: SCP (SSH), Netcat, FTP, and Python HTTP Server. Each method has its own unique features and benefits, and the choice of the method depends on the use case and desired functionality.

It’s crucial to choose a file transfer method that is secure, reliable, and efficient. By understanding the available file transfer methods, you can find an option that fits your needs and ensures the safe and efficient transfer of files.

Overall, efficient and reliable file transfer methods are essential for transferring files between Linux servers, and choosing the right method can make the task much more manageable and efficient.

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