I can SSH to my remote desktop machine via my laptop and launch its file browser via terminal by: nautilus

but I would like to be able to drag and drop the files from remote machine to my local machine (in this case my laptop). How I can do this? Thanks.


You don't need to ssh to the remote host - just use your local machine's Nautilus file browser to open the remote server directly.

  • On your local machine, open Nautilus.
  • in the location bar, enter sftp://username@remotehost.example.com
  • enter your remote password when prompted.
  • You will then be able to copy files to/from the remote host using drag&drop.

You can bookmark the remote server as well to make it even easier to connect next time.

More info: http://linux.about.com/od/ubuntu_doc/a/ubudg10t9.htm


Try the following to get nautilus to show up. It does not allow drag and drop onto the local machine, but you could use a network share. That Is what I usually do.

    nautilus --browser --no-desktop &

Please clarify.

If you SSH to a remote host and run Nautilus, it will load a GUI file-browser on the remote host. Unless this host is close by, you wont be able to use this to copy/move any files.

Otherwise ..

I use SSH all the time, both at command line (to distant hosts, over slow connection) and from Nautilus (on my own Ubuntu PC) using 'Connect to server ..' to open a new tab (or window) of the remote machine. This then allows me drag-and-drop, to/from local machine and remote machine.

Note: Nautilus works best in 'pull' mode, (that is) copying from the remote PC to your local PC. In 'push' mode (copying to a remote host) it will often replace file date-stamps (due to a Nautilus and/or SSH/SFTP bug) with today's time/date.

  • I can ssh to remote machine via command line, and then run Nautilus and open the GUI file-browser, but it does not allow me to drag and drop from remote machine. Does it mean that I do not have permission for it and I have to obtain permission from IT people in our department? – Mahdi Jul 3 '12 at 10:08
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    No, from within the SSH session you can copy files using command line tools (eg. ftp, cp, mv, etc.). But, you can also SSH from within Nautilus on your local PC, using "Connect to server ..'. This does allow you to drag-n-drop between the remote and local hosts. – david6 Jul 3 '12 at 12:18

I'd love to be proved wrong, but I'm quite certain this is not possible. If you need to move files, there are terminal commands that you can use to achieve the same, for example cp or rsync.

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