rcp – Makes file copying between two Linux hosts easier

RCP stands for Remote Copy, and it is a command-line utility that enables users to copy files between two Linux hosts over a network. It is a simple and efficient way to transfer files between two remote hosts, and it can be used to copy files from one directory to another on the same machine or between different machines.


The basic syntax of the RCP command is as follows:

rcp [options] source_file destination_file


  • source_file is the file to be copied from the remote host
  • destination_file is the file to be copied to the local host

For example, to copy a file named example.txt from a remote host with IP address to the local host, you would use the following command:

rcp user@ /path/to/local/directory/

You can also use RCP to copy entire directories between hosts. To copy a directory named example_dir from a remote host to the local host, you would use the following command:

rcp -r user@ /path/to/local/directory/


The following table describes the available options for the RCP command:

Option Description
-p Preserves the modification time, access time, and mode of the original file
-r Recursively copies directories and their contents
-v Verbose output, displays the progress of the copy operation
-c Forces the use of the rcp command instead of scp
-F Specifies an alternate configuration file for ssh

Troubleshooting tips

  • Make sure that the remote host is reachable and that you have the correct IP address or hostname.
  • Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to access the remote file or directory.
  • Check that the RCP service is running on the remote host. You can verify this by running the following command on the remote host: ps -ef | grep rsh.
  • If you encounter authentication errors, make sure that you have the correct username and password for the remote host.


  • RCP is considered less secure than other file transfer protocols, such as SCP or SFTP, and should only be used when those protocols are not available.
  • RCP uses the rsh protocol, which is an unencrypted protocol. It is recommended to use SSH instead, which provides encryption and better security.