Linux / Unix rcp command

Linux / Unix rcp command

Copies files from one computer to another computer.


rcp [-p] [-r] filename … directory
-pAttempt to give each copy the same modification times, access times, modes, and ACLs if applicable as the original file.
-rCopy each subtree rooted at filename; in this case the destination must be a directory.
filenameName of the file
directoryName of the directory


rcp /mydirectory/myfile hope:otherdir/myfile

This command would copy the file myfile from mydirectory directory into the hope user account directory of otherdir as the name of the file myfile.

rcp is meant to copy between different hosts; attempting to rcp a file onto itself, as with:

rcp tmp/file myhost:/tmp/file

results in a severely corrupted file.

rcp may not correctly fail when the target of a copy is a file instead of a directory.

rcp can become confused by output generated by commands in a $HOME/.profile on the remote host.

rcp requires that the source host have permission to execute commands on the remote host when doing third-party copies.

rcp does not properly handle symbolic links. Use tar or cpio piped to rsh to obtain remote copies of directories containing symbolic links or named pipes.

If you forget to quote metacharacters intended for the remote host, you will get an incomprehensible error message.

rcp will fail if you copy ACLs to a file system that does not support ACLs.

Note: RCP is not a secure or encrypted method of transferring files.

Stefan Pejcic
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