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I have logged on to a system with ssh and there is no scp present on both the systems. How to copy a file without using the scp program.

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migrated from Jun 1 '11 at 9:07

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Is netcat (nc) present on both systems? If it is, use your ssh session to tunnel a TCP port and use nc on that port. – n.m. Jun 1 '11 at 9:06
Do you have rsync? – slhck Jun 1 '11 at 9:08
you can also do this: ssh user@remotehost cat /path/to/remote/file > /path/to/local/file – n.m. Jun 1 '11 at 9:11
@n.m. quotes required (for me, ubuntu server) – Ivan Black Sep 19 '14 at 10:12
up vote 42 down vote accepted

To send a file:

cat file | ssh ajw@dogmatix "cat > remote"


ssh ajw@dogmatix "cat > remote" < file

To receive a file:

ssh ajw@dogmatix "cat remote" > copy
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using cat will not work on binary files. – ggg Sep 23 '12 at 3:00
@ggg that's not true at all. cd /tmp; cat /bin/bash > test; chmod a+x test; diff test /bin/bash; ./test all works fine. There's nothing inherently "magic" about binary files. Both files in my example compared identical and have the same checksum. It's true that copy and pasting from a terminal window won't work because of things like control sequences and unprintable characters, but using pipes like this these never go near a terminal. – Flexo Sep 23 '12 at 10:35
Thanks for correcting me, my bad, it really works. – ggg Sep 24 '12 at 12:31
@Flexo I need something like this, the only exception is, I need to pipe in all jpg from a folder. How could iterate through /storage/sdcard1/*jpg and > to files with the same name ? – George Profenza Jul 3 '13 at 11:58
@GeorgeProfenza you'll need to add tar into the mix. tar cvf - /path/*.jpg | ssh "tar xvf -" or something similar ought to work. – Flexo Jul 3 '13 at 20:36

Try this:

cat myfile.txt | ssh me@otherhost 'cat - > myfile.txt' 
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no need for that many cat calls at all – Flexo Jun 1 '11 at 9:13

Besides piping the file to a remote cat, you may also be able to use some SFTP client to transfer the files.

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+1 but it should be noted that the OP is attempting to avoid scp because it does not exist on the systems. Given this constraint it's also probable that an FTP server needs to exist on the receiving end which makes the copying process dependent on software other than what is usually there by default. – Paul Sasik May 5 '15 at 16:50

You can use xxd and some ugly quoting to copy over multiple files as well as run commands on them and execute them:

ssh -t "
echo $'"$(cat somefile | xxd -ps)"' | xxd -ps -r > "'somefile'"
chmod +x somefile
echo $'"$(cat someotherfile | xxd -ps)"' | xxd -ps -r > "'someotherfile'"
chmod +x someotherfile
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ah, my answer is clearly too l33t – Aric Jan 8 at 20:07

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