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How to Download a File or Directory via SSH

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There may be times when you find it more efficient to download a file or directory via SSH rather than a SFTP GUI. Here’s how to do that:

To download a single file:

scp username@source_host:path/to/source_file.zip ~/Desktop

To Download a directory (folder):

Use the -r option

scp -r username@source_host:path/to/source_folder ~/Desktop

If you’d like to change the destination location for either of these commands, simply replace /Desktop with the path of your desired destination.

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Daniel Lemky

As the founder of Quantum Fire Labs, Daniel has over a decade of web and IT experience. He has worked with clients across North America and has helped them build professional and effective online business solutions.