How to Use SCP in FileZilla

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How to Use SCP in FileZilla

FileZilla is not designed to be an SCP client. Instead, it is an FTP client that allows you to transfer files from local computer to remote server or vice versa effortlessly thanks to its drag and drop feature. At the time of writing, FileZilla doesn’t specifically support SCP, but you can also use it as an SCP client with a little modification.

SCP (secure copy protocol) itself is quite similar to FTP. It is a network protocol that is designed specifically to transfer files from local computer to remove server or between hosts on a network. SCP is based on the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. Some FTP clients like WinSCP and Cyberduck already support SCP protocol. Meaning that you can use them to easily transfer files from local computer to remote server effortlessly using the drag and drop feature that is commonly offered by a GUI based FTP client. In Linux, you can also use the scpcommand on terminal to use SCP.

If you are a Linux user and new to SCP and want to use GUI based tool, you can use FileZilla. As you know, this FTP client is cross-platform, available for all major desktop platforms, including Linux. WinSCP is great, but it doesn’t offer Linux version.

To use SCP on FileZilla, you can choose SFTP – SSH on the Protocol section when adding a new site. SCP itself runs over TCP port 22 by default.

Launch the FileZilla app on your computer and go File -> Site Manager (Ctrl+S).

On the the Site Manager window, click the New Site button to add a new site.

Enter the web address or IP address of your server on the Host field. On the Port field section, you can leave it empty if the SCP configuration on your server uses the default port (22). What you need to change is the protocol. On the Protocol section, change the default protocol (FTP) to SFTP – SSH.

On the Encryption section, you can leave it default. Next, switch to the Logon Type section. There are several login types you can choose from. On this example, I use Ask for password. If you choose this option, FileZilla will ask you the SCP password every time you want to connect to server via SCP protocol. Enter your SCP username and click the Connect button.

Enter your password and voila!. You can now transfer files from local computer to remote server by dragging the files you want to copy from the left panel and drop them to the right panel. And vice versa.

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      • A quick into the help of pscp (from the famous putty suite) would help to understand that sftp and scp are different protocols (even if the FileZilla dev mixes this up):

        PS C:\MSDOS> .\pscp.exe –help
        PuTTY Secure Copy client
        Release 0.77
        Usage: pscp [options] [user@]host:source target
        pscp [options] source [source…] [user@]host:target
        pscp [options] -ls [user@]host:filespec

        -sftp force use of SFTP protocol
        -scp force use of SCP protocol

        Maybe the author want to correct this or provide a proper solution. There are some infrastructure devices out there where real scp works, but sftp doesn’t.