What does .+i+;I: mean with scp?

I'm trying to transfer a file from my laptop (OSX 10.6) to my school's linux server (RedHat 5). Ssh works normally with a public key but when I try to transfer a file with scp file.txt school:~ the text .+i+;I: spits out and scp exits with code 1.

A google search shows code 1 to be a general error which isn't really helpful.


I'm pretty sure that's not an error code.

Is your remote shell "clean"? In other words, does it spit out motd-style text even for non-interactive sessions?

Easy way to test (stolen from the rsync man page):

$ ssh remotehost /bin/true | wc
       0       0       0

If you get anything back other than a row of zeros, your shell is not clean and will not work with scp until it is made so. As it is spewing text for non-interactive sessions, it may require admin-level intervention to fix.

EDIT: I've verified that scp behaves exactly as I've described. If the shell returns data in non-interactive sessions, that data is returned on the client side and scp exits with a return code of '1'. The string you describe looks to me like terminal formatting codes.

  • /bin/true dumps my motd file into the ouput for some reason. Running /bin/true on an interact session returns 0 0 0.
    – epochwolf
    Nov 10 '09 at 19:16
  • Figured out the issue. I had a print statement in .bashrc... which should have been in .bash_profile.
    – epochwolf
    Nov 20 '09 at 16:51

If you're using a public key for ssh, you'll need to specify it for scp as well:

scp -i [path to your public key file] file.txt school:~
  • I have connection information stored in ~/.ssh/config which scp loads just fine. I'm able to do "scp vps:/home/user/file.ext ~" to dump a file from my VPS to my home folder.
    – epochwolf
    Nov 10 '09 at 19:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.