I need to transfer files/folders between a remote machine running Linux and my local machine running Windows XP. I usually access the remote machine through ssh, and sometimes use VNC sessions.

What is the easiest way to transfer a file from the remote machine to my local machine and vice versa?

  • I think ftp should be the solution. Is there a better way?
  • If ftp is a good option, how do I initiate the transfer? Do I need to setup ftp servers on both the machines and then transfer? What exactly needs to be done?
  • A little note, ssh/scp is encrypted and safe, ftp is unencrypted and unsafe. So if ssh works, don't switch to something that is unsafe.
    – Johan
    Aug 29 '10 at 7:56

My recommendation is to use winscp on the windows side. This uses the SCP protocol, which works as long as you have SSH installed on the remote end... which you do.

  • As long as SSH is working properly, we use Filezilla, which also works with SSH to secure your transfer.
    – slafat01
    Oct 14 '12 at 20:39

You need to setup the server on the linux machine and the client from the windows machine. FileZilla is a common one I've heard of (it supports both linux and windows), but there are plenty other out there. I'm assuming that you are NOT connected to the same network otherwise you would just setup a Samba share.


Dont overlook the simple solutions, such as up- and downloading the files via a Gmail or Ymail account.

  • Mailing is not a good solution. a) its cumbersome b) it has file size limits.
    – Lazer
    Aug 29 '10 at 6:59
  • Then have a look at cross-copy.net. There is also a commandline client available.
    – Rodja
    May 8 '12 at 11:04

This is obvious to power users, but not to newbies:

If the machine acting as a server is behind NAT, which is ubiquitous, you'll need to set up firewall/DMZ rules or rely on UPNP. Something like http://miniupnp.tuxfamily.org/ could help, or check the documentation for the router that services the network the server is connected to.

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