This is probably a simple error, but I can't work it out. My computer hostname is Felix (hostname -f returns Felix) I am trying to move a file from my university account to my home computer using scp. I can ssh easily to the remote computer so that connection is fine, the scp syntax I am using is (whilst connected to remote computer via ssh):

scp myusername@university_computer:/home/myusername/file.odt homeusername@Felix:Desktop/file.odt

I have tried a number of variations of this, and the error it returns is:

ssh: Felix: Name or service not known

Which suggests to me that using homeusername@Felix isn't the right syntax to be using.

I am not a superuser on the university system and only have access to my files, so cannot access any system files.

Any ideas?

5 Answers 5


You do not need to specify your local hostname to scp a file from your university computer. What you need to do is from your home computer open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type the following command:

scp myusername@university_computer:/home/myusername/file.odt /local/destination/path/

where /local/destination/path is the local path on Felix where you wish to store the file.

  • 2
    And of course the command is being run from the local machine
    – Donato
    Apr 14, 2015 at 8:15
  • Most people miss the fact that it has to be run from local machine and not from the server side.
    – kingmaker
    May 9, 2017 at 16:57

i had the exact same problem and this tutorial helped me a lot: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH/TransferFiles


Ok...couple problems here. You DO NOT need to have the first address if you are on said computer. Lets say you are on comp A. A does not need to have its address written. B needs its IP address written, not its hostname. So... it would be scp /home/user/file [email protected]:/home/user/

You need your address there, not your hostname. So Felix has nothing to do with this. Do ifconifg and look for your ip, while on that machine.

scp <remote-user-name>@<ec2-endpoint>:/home/<remote-user-name>/<file-to-be-copied> ./Desktop/

This will copy the remote ec2-instance file in you Desktop folder.


For me, I use FileZilla and the GUI:

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