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how do i copy files from windows powershell to linux? – Explore all details

Copying files from a Windows machine to a Linux machine might seem like a daunting task, especially if you are not accustomed to the differing operating systems. However, the process can be streamlined using various tools, one of which is Windows PowerShell. In this article, we will explore the steps required to accomplish this transfer successfully.

Understanding Windows PowerShell

Before we delve into the specifics, it’s essential to understand what Windows PowerShell is. PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language built on the .NET Framework. It was designed to control and automate the administration of Windows systems and the applications that run on them. Since PowerShell commands (also known as cmdlets) are built to manage objects, it offers more flexibility and control than the Windows Command Prompt.

Understanding Linux

On the other hand, Linux is an open-source operating system modeled on the UNIX platform. It offers an extremely flexible and customizable interface for various uses. Linux utilizes a command-line interface (CLI) known as a shell, just like PowerShell in Windows.

Tools for File Transfer

The most common tools used to transfer files from Windows to Linux are:

  1. SCP (Secure Copy)
  2. SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)

These tools use SSH (Secure Shell) to transfer files securely between systems. While both are good choices, for this guide, we will be using SCP due to its simplicity.

SCP (Secure Copy)

SCP is a means of securely transferring computer files between a local and a remote host or between two remote hosts, using the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol.

Transferring Files from Windows PowerShell to Linux using SCP

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of copying files from Windows PowerShell to Linux using SCP. This guide assumes that you have a working SSH server on your Linux machine.

Step 1 – Open PowerShell

Open PowerShell on your Windows machine. You can do this by searching for PowerShell in the start menu, right-clicking on it, and selecting “Run as Administrator”.

Step 2 – Using the SCP Command

Next, use the SCP command to copy files to your Linux machine. The syntax of the command is as follows:

Replace “source_file” with the path of the file you want to copy from your Windows machine. “User” is the username on your Linux machine, and “destination” is the IP address or hostname of your Linux machine. “/path” is the location where you want the file to be copied to on your Linux machine.

For example, if you want to copy a file named “test.txt” from your Windows machine to your Linux machine with IP address “”, under the user “root”, in the directory “/home/root”, the command would be:

Step 3 – Confirm Transfer

After hitting enter, you will be prompted to enter the password for the specified user on your Linux machine. Upon entering the correct password, the file transfer will begin.

You can verify the transfer by logging into your Linux machine and checking the specified directory for the transferred file.


Transferring files from Windows PowerShell to Linux may seem complex, but by using tools such as SCP, the process becomes manageable. With a basic understanding of PowerShell and Linux, along with the correct syntax for the SCP command, anyone can effectively and securely transfer files between these two diverse operating systems.


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