when I try scp over zsh, I get

scp hostA:Descargas/debian-6.0.4-* [email protected]:Escritorio/Software/
zsh: no matches found: hostA:Descargas/debian-6.0.4-*

the same command work in bash


6 Answers 6


Escape your wildcard :

scp hostA:Descargas/debian-6.0.4-\*
  • 1
    I got the same error when trying to run a ruby resque worker with the QUEUE=* option. Thanks for the fix!
    – mogramer
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 2:51
  • 4
    Thanks for solution... This seems like an example of zsh being too smart for its own good...
    – Owen
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 14:25
  • 1
    Worked for me as well. Weird though!
    – roopunk
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 6:39
  • 1
    \ does the trick on macos Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 14:53

or add this to your .zshrc

alias scp='noglob scp'
  • It was so annoying to escape brackets when using ipv6, this helped.
    – Nasir
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 0:18
  • not it says: *: No such file or directory
    – alper
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 11:04

Too late for the party, but..

You can escape the string with quotes too

scp "hostA:Descargas/debian-6.0.4-*" "[email protected]:Escritorio/Software/"

Unset the NOMATCH option so that zsh leaves the text alone instead of complaining about a glob failure.

  • 4
    Hi, how to unset that? in .zshrc ?
    – GoingMyWay
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 4:34

This post has a nice solution to this by using the url-quote-magic plugin to automatically escape globs in scp commands. To enable it, add the following to your ~/.zshrc:

# Automatically quote globs in URL and remote references
__remote_commands=(scp rsync)
autoload -U url-quote-magic
zle -N self-insert url-quote-magic
zstyle -e :urlglobber url-other-schema '[[ $__remote_commands[(i)$words[1]] -le ${#__remote_commands} ]] && reply=("*") || reply=(http https ftp)'

When you type a glob character (like *) as part of a remote path in an scp or rsync command, zsh will automatically add a blackslash in front, like this:

scp hostA:Descargas/debian-6.0.4-\* [email protected]:Escritorio/Software/
  • 2
    This is a nasty but nice trick.
    – Attila O.
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 1:22
  • post url seems dead.
    – alper
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 11:05

I used to alias no "noglob scp" in my MacOS but with some updates I had always to type \scp at the beginning of the command so wildcards were accepted.

Changed to alias scp="\noglob scp" and it all work, with or without wildcards on command line.

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