Can you scp a file to multiple locations in the same command?

For example:

scp file.txt user@ip-1.com:, user@ip2.com:

Or would it be more practical to create a bash script that has all the hosts already in it and it would just take a file as the argument?


Let's say you have a file (destfile.txt) with user@host-values, one on each line. Then you could do like this:

for dest in $(<destfile.txt); do
  scp ourfile.txt "$dest:remote/path/"


while IFS= read -r dest; do
  scp ourfile.txt "$dest:remote/path/"
done <destfile.txt
  • This works! Still a handful to type out though. Perhaps there's a way to simplify that. – Andrew Sep 22 '11 at 21:02
  • 2
    @Andrew, if you change the for-loop into while read dest; do, it will read from standard input. Put it in a script and feed the destfile.txt into it (e.g., ./thescript.sh <destfile.txt). – Kusalananda Sep 22 '11 at 21:19
  • I'm doing the former, but with rsync and some of my nodes are not updating. Any idea why? – Soubriquet Sep 22 '18 at 17:50

Looks like a job for parallel-scp(n)(t) - this implements a set of commands that allow for scp commands to be run on multiple systems at once. It will allow for the copying of files in parallel to a set of machines.

cat file.txt | tee >(ssh user@ip1.com "cat > file.txt") \
                   >(ssh user@ip2.com "cat > file.txt")

tar cz file1 file2 file3 | tee >(ssh user@ip1.com "tar xz") \
                               >( ... )

Another alternative (and a one-liner) would be to instead use pdsh to connect to each target node and trigger a get from there:

pdsh -w^destfile.txt scp hostname:/path/to/file /path/to/destfile

This of course requires one more information (the local host) and different user rights, but you avoid looping in bash and using indirection to read the file.


Here's another option, with a one line shell script.

cscp.sh 20337.patch < hosts.txt

It uses two files, one for the loop, and one for the server host list. It reads $1 for the first parameter from the CLI as the filename to SCP


while read host; do
  scp $1 ${host}:




Copy file to multiple hosts:

cscp.sh file < hosts

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