I was downloading, using scp, a large file from "remote" to "myserver"; it is taking a few hours. It is/was downloading to "~/stuff/". Let's call it "x.tgz".

Then, forgetting about that, a little while later, I noticed disk space was getting low on the /home/ partition. I noticed "~/stuff/" was quite big, so decided to move it from my /home/ partition to my emptier /backup/ partition: cd;mv stuff/ /backup/ Great, reasonable amounts of disk space in all partitions again.

Then I remembered the long-running scp process, slapped my forehead, and went to look at it, expecting an error message. But it is still happily downloading. Eh?

So, is it still being saved to /home/ partition, or the /backup/ partition? I think I can answer that, as it appears disk space is still going down on /home/ but not /backup/ But, what will happen when it finally completes? Will I have a partial /backup/x.tgz and a full ~/stuff/x.tgz? Or the first half in /backup/x.tgz and the second half in ~/stuff/x.tgz ?

More importantly: have I messed it up, and I should kill scp, and start again?


It looks like some/most/all of "x.tgz" was loaded into ram for the scp'ing. I would suggest though killing the process and running it again. Though it would be interesting to see if it really worked, you could wait it out or even run a parallel scp and when the original one is done run a md5sum x.tgz on both the remote and the host. If the hex outputs match up then they are the same.

  • Good guess: it downloaded the full thing, then failed with "x.tgz: set times: no such file or directory". The /home/ diskspace has gone up by the size of the file, so I guess it was downloading there, and then got cleaned up as soon as scp finished :-( – Darren Cook Oct 7 '13 at 7:01

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