rcp, scp, ftp - Commands For Copying Files Between Computers

rcp, scp, ftp commands

There are a number of Linux commands you can use to copy files from one computer to another. The rcp ("remote copy") command is meant to work like the cp ("copy") command, except that is allows you to copy files and directories over the network to and from remote computers.

This is nice and simple, but to make it work you need to first set up the computers involved in the transaction to allow this operation. This is done using the ".rhosts" files. See here for more information.

A more secure version of rcp is scp ("secure copy"). It is based on the ssh ("secure shell") protocol, which uses encryption.

The key advantage of the ftp client program is that it comes with most commonly used operating systems, including most Linux distributions and even Microsoft Windows, and it doesn't require ".rhosts" files. You can copy multiple files with ftp, but the basic ftp clients typically do not transfer whole directory trees.