In Windows I use WinSCP to transfer files server-side. It has a very attractive feature that I like best: keeping remote folders up to date.

This means, whenever my local file is changed, WinScp will replace the same file on the server with this new file.

Could you suggest me software that support this feature?

14 Answers 14


Nautilus the default file browser has the feature of mounting remote files.

Go to File Menu > Connect to Server..

enter image description here

Other than that filezilla and gftp support sftp.

  • 4
    caja has this too! – j0h Feb 22 '14 at 0:11
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    Nemo (default on Mint) supports this too (go to sftp://<user>@<host>) – personne3000 Aug 27 '14 at 6:21
  • 1
    I am getting this page ( anonmgur.com/up/5a97de9b3038915650fde0a23f63b267.png ) instead of specifying new details. How do i correct it ? – maan81 Jul 18 '16 at 9:03
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    Same as @maan81 here... I only see Serve Addres, and a smb://foo.example.org Running Ubuntu 14.04 – nephewtom Sep 7 '16 at 8:39
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    filezilla still doesn't support scp protocol. Most people in this thread assume he was using winSCP program for SFTP, but he even tagged this question with SCP tag. – David162795 Jul 11 '17 at 9:13

Since you are familiar with Winscp on Windows, I suggest that you try filezilla

FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

Install filezilla

You can also install with the command line. Open terminal Ctrl+Alt+T and run following command:

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Or search on Filezilla in Ubuntu Software Center.

When you add a host, be sure to change from FTP to SFTP, and change the port number to ssh port 22 (or other custom ssh port if different)

Make the account type interactive.


  • Unfortunately, filezilla still does not support ssh keys with passwords. – heroin Dec 17 '15 at 18:48
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    filezilla still doesn't support scp protocol. Most people in this thread assume he was using winSCP program for SFTP, but he even tagged this question with SCP tag. – David162795 Jul 11 '17 at 9:15
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    I came here for exactly this: looking for SCP. SFTP is ubiquitous in most file managers in linux nowadays. Other than using scp CLI and winscp over wine i see nothing close to answering the actual question. – brett Feb 26 '18 at 18:04
  • I wanted to follow up that filezilla does in fact support ssh keys with passphrases in them. Specifically, I am using it with a 2048bit rsa key using passphrases. However, it does whine a lot about ssh key formats. I am using version 3.28.0. – Matthew Sep 13 '18 at 1:41
  • worked fine for me on ec2 using sftp – Nidhin David May 13 '19 at 5:06

You could also use sshfs or rsync.

sshfs mounts your remote directory locally over ssh very similar to WinSCP and Nautilus.

The potential advantage of sshfs is that you can map users

sshfs -o idmap=server_user user@server:/directory ~/remote_directory

To automate the process, add an entry in fstab

sshfs#user@server:/directory /home/your_local_user/directory fuse idmap=user 0 0

See Ubuntu Wiki SSHFS

rsync will also sync files / directories and will work over ssh and has a graphical front end, grsync

See Ubuntu wiki rsync

Last you can edit remote files with vim (if you are interested)

vim scp://user@server//path_to/file_to_edit

You can still use winscp under wine. I am doing the same, and it works very good.


You want "scp". The original scp :-)

Oops, I spoke too soon... you have requirement of syncing as well. In that case, rsync.

However, scp is still good for scripts and automation.

  • 3
    I think someone using winscp would not be as excited to use scp in the command line. And one of the features one looks for in a gui sftp client is management of the different sessions one could use. – viyyer Jan 11 '12 at 18:51
  • @viyyer, yes you're right. – Angelo Jan 11 '12 at 18:54

There are many different tools which would give a similar experience as winscp. I use filezilla for transferring files across ssh.

Nautilus as mentioned by @sagarchalise allows for connecting to server.

One of the things I use more often these days to access sftp is sshfs. I find it very convenient as it mounts the files as local file in the filesystem and transparently updates it on the remote server.

sshfs username@remotehostname.tld:/path/to/remote/files /path/to/local/mountpoint/

It lets me use all my usual tools assuming these file are local files.

  • 1
    This is very nice when you only can access thru SSH! I also recommend adding a couple of options: follow symlinks and reconnect (pretty much self explanatory, fixed freezing problems I had). Final command would be: sshfs -o follow_symlinks -o reconnect username@remotehostname.tld:/path/to/remote/files /path/to/local/mountpoint/. Also recommend to create a simple bash script to mount it (and unmount it with fusermount -u /path/to/local/mountpoint/). – aesede Aug 26 '16 at 14:58


Open Nautilus and type (in the link bar): sftp://user@server/


Open Konqueror and type (in the link bar): fish://user@server/


Open Thunar and type (in the link bar): sftp://user@server/

  • He asked specifically about SCP, while all of these use sftp. These are not the same thing. Also, the question was specifically about a syncing feature which none of these provide. – Matthew Najmon Jun 2 '18 at 16:23
  • From winscp website: Free Award-Winning File Manager WinSCP is a popular SFTP client and FTP client... He asked specifically abaut WinSCP (not SCP) and winscp is a Filemanager for ssh. Nautilus, Konqueror and Thunar are filemanager too. – daniele Sep 5 '20 at 9:34

You can also try unison to help synchronize the two folders

  • Looks like unison needs a client on the remote server too? :( – ThorSummoner Jul 21 '15 at 17:43

A very nice and powerful program, built over the rsync protocol, is Unison.

enter image description here

It has a very nice interface, and the client is available for at least Linux (more or less all variants) and Windows. The basic behavior is very easy to grasp, with a graphic interface and easy configuration, and if you need to do more complex things, you can manually edit the configuration files and/or script it.

It has been my backup/mirroring/uploading utility in the last five year at least, and never saw a bug or missed a file.

You can install it with

 sudo apt-get install unison-gtk 

and for a smooth behavior, you should have configured a working connection with your endpoint (I normally use ssh connections).


I recommend PCManFM sudo apt-get install pcmanfm

Just another File Manager but features a mini GUI for connections (in main menu Go --> Connect to server) and there you go. You can bookmark your connections and you can just right click files and chose "open with...".

  • 1
    Not only PCManFM, but most File Managers support it: Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, Dolphin at least do. – s3lph Sep 22 '14 at 20:08
  • @the_Seppi: I agree, but I had problems with other file managers (mainly connection hanged and had to kill the manager). But didn't try Dolphin, will try it just to see – aesede Aug 26 '16 at 14:51

Krusader is very similar if you need the side by side panel.

Simply install with

sudo apt install krusader

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    what about "keeping remote folders up to date"? – Pierre.Vriens Sep 30 '18 at 6:49

I'd suggest SecPanel https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/saucy/secpanel/ especially if you're using 13.10.


I found one good standalone alternative, free, opensource, mucommander, but java based, your system need to have jvm to run it.

Why I went for mucommander (I am using RHEL6 with ristrictions)?
1st I tried to connect with nautilus, but it failed to connect.
2nd I tried to use various s/w like filezilla, Unison , but nothing was standalone, and faced many compilation and rights issue.

Ulitmately mucommander saved me.


To run WinSCP under Linux (Ubuntu 12.04), follow these steps:

1) sudo apt-get install wine (run this one time only, to get 'wine' in your system, if you haven't it)

2) download "https://winscp.net/"

3) make a folder and put the content of zip file in this folder

4) open a terminal

5) type sudo su

6) type wine WinSCP.exe

Done! WinSCP will run like in Windows environment!

Best regards.

  • 7
    Why run wine as super user? Don't do that. Skip step 5. – Eric Carvalho Apr 19 '14 at 0:24

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