Quick Tip – Connecting to Another Machine (Linux to Linux)

In todays quick tip I will discuss methods of connecting to another computer. There are many different methods of doing this, even more if you want to mix and match between Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Today I will just be looking at a Linux to Linux connection.

First off, for today I am going to be connecting to a system that I built for my parents (details of the build to come) to grab a few photographs that my dad took on his latest holiday. They have a central Linux system with a file server through port forwarding on port number 400.

The first method to connect is via a simple ssh shell command

ssh dad@X.X.X.X -p 400

Where dad is my dads username, X.X.X.X is his IPv4 address and -p 400 says that i want to connect on port 400 which will tell the router at my dads house that I actually want to talk to the file server. What I have now is a connection to file server and access to everything on that local machine, with the input output information sent to my machine.

So what can i do with this. Funnily enough, this simple command is powerful if you want to use the remote computer. You can run an update, run any command line program (cat /etc/passwd :P) or execute shell scripts to achieve tasks like backup or batch file manipulation. To copy files between computers we are going to need another command.

At this point we have three different options, two command line choices and one GUI, (the GUI only needs your computer to have the GUI not the remote computer.

scp dad@X.X.X.X:400/home/dad/image.jpg /home/me/image.jpg


sftp dad@X.X.X.X:400
get /home/dad/image.jpg


Places -> connect to server -> Fill out needed information -> connect
enter password -> navigate through window to file -> drag and drop to desired location

The first option is my favorite and the most simple command if you know exactly what you want and where you want to put it. The first part logs onto the ssh server and locates the file for copying, and the second part says where the file should be put. While it is simple, it has no margin of error, it either works or doesn’t, and can do some squiggly things.

The second option is the best for looking for and finding files without a GUI. You must first login to the ssh server in ftp mode and then find and “get” (download) the file. I don’t really use this option often, but it’s handy to know.

The third option is great if you want a graphical way of interacting file on an external server. This is very simple once you have seen what to do. Hopefully I will be able to do a quick video to show how to do this, which I will link at a later stage.

This outlines the way that you can connect to different Linux boxes on either you own subnet, or even over the internet. Stay tunned for more posts related to connecting computers, in particular mac and windows to linux connection.

Leave a comment


  1. SSH is an awesome protocol 🙂 you must not forget SSHFS that let’s you mount remote partitions using encrypted comunication and replace Samba between *nix stations.

    • I am in the process of going through and updating and expanding some of my old posts, I’ll have a look at including sshfs in my new post.


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