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SSH Tectia


scpg3 — Secure Shell file copy client - Generation 3


scpg3 [options...]
[ src_profile: | [user@] src_host [#port]: ] src_file...
[ dst_profile: | [user@] dst_host [#port]: ] dst_file_or_dir


scpg3 (scpg3.exe on Windows) is used to securely copy files over the network. scpg3 launches ssh-broker-g3 to provide a secure transport using the Secure Shell version 2 protocol. ssh-broker-g3 will ask for passwords or passphrases if they are needed for authentication. scpg3 uses the configuration specified in the ssh-broker-config.xml file.

Any filename may contain a host, user, and port specification to indicate that the file is to be copied to or from that host ( [user@] host [#port]). If no username is given, the local username is assumed. If no port is given, the default Secure Shell port 22 is assumed. Alternatively, a connection profile defined in the ssh-broker-config.xml file (profile) can be given. Copies between two remote hosts are permitted. The remote host(s) must be running a Secure Shell version 2 server with the sftp-server subsystem enabled.

The host parameter can optionally be enclosed in square brackets ([]) to allow the use of semicolons. The file argument can contain simple wild cards: asterisk (*) for any number of any characters, and question mark (?) for any one character.

For information on special characters in file names, see the section called “Filename Support”.


The following command-line parameters can be used to further specify the scpg3 options.

-a [arg]

Transfers files using the ASCII mode, that is, newlines will be converted on the fly. See the ascii command in the section called “Commands”.

If the server does not advertise the newline convention, you can give it a hint by giving an argument after -a. The default is to set the destination newline convention, but you can specify either one by prefixing the argument with src: or dest: for source or destination convention, respectively. The available conventions are dos, unix, and mac, using \r\n, \n, and \r as newlines, respectively. An example is shown below:

$ scpg3 -asrc:unix -adest:dos src_host:src_file dest_host:dest_file
-b buffer_size_bytes

Defines the maximum buffer size for one read/write request (default: 32768 bytes).

-B, --batch-mode

Uses batch mode. Fails authentication if it requires user interaction on the terminal.

Using batch mode requires that you have previously saved the server host key on the client and set up a non-interactive method for user authentication (for example, host-based authentication or public-key authentication without a passphrase).


Forces target to be a directory.

-D, --debug=LEVEL

Sets the debug level. LEVEL is a number from 0 to 99, where 99 specifies that all debug information should be displayed. This should be the first argument on the command line.


Option -D only applies on Unix. On Windows, instead of this command line tool, use the Connection Broker debugging options -D, -l.


The debug level can be set only when the scpg3 command starts the Connection Broker. This option has no effect in the command if the Connection Broker is already running.

-I, --interactive

Prompts whether to overwrite an existing destination file (does not work with -B).

-m fileperm [:dirperm]

On Windows, sets the default file and directory permission bits for file upload to Unix servers. This option can be used only against Unix servers.

-N max_requests

Defines the maximum number of read/write requests sent in parallel (default: 10).

-O, --offset=r<offset> | w<offset> | l<length> | t<length>

Sets offset. Offset r<offset> specifies the start offset in the source file. Offset w<offset> specifies the start offset in the destination file. Length l<length> specifies the amount of data to be copied. Truncate length t<length>, if given, specifies the length to which the destination file is truncated or expanded after the file data has been copied.


Preserves file attributes (Unix) and timestamps (Unix and Windows).

-P port

Connects to this Secure Shell port on the remote machine (default: 22).


Uses quiet mode (only fatal errors are shown).


Does not show progress indicator.


Recurses subdirectories.

-u, --unlink-source

Removes source files after copying (file move).

-v, --verbose

Uses verbose mode (equal to -D 2).


Performs the checksums using the FIPS cryptographic library.


Destination filename will be converted to lowercase characters.

--overwrite [ =yes | no ]

Selects whether to overwrite existing destination file(s) (default: yes).

--password= PASSWORD | file://PASSWORDFILE | extprog://PROGRAM

Sets user password that the client will send as a response to password authentication. The PASSWORD can be given directly as an argument to this option (not recommended), or a path to file containing the password can be given, or a path to a program or a script that outputs the password can be given.


Supplying the password on the command line is not a secure option. For example, in a multi-user environment, the password given directly on the command line is trivial to recover from the process table. You should set up a more secure way to authenticate. For non-interactive batch jobs, it is more secure to use public-key authentication without a passphrase, or host-based authentication. At a minimum, use a file or a program to supply the password.


Sets plugin path to PATH. This is only used in the FIPS mode.


Adds prefix to filename during the file transfer. The prefix is removed after the file has been successfully transferred. This option requires the EFT Expansion Pack on both SSH Tectia Client and Server.

--statistics [ =yes | no | simple ]

Chooses the statistics style (default: yes).

--streaming [ =yes | no | force | ext ]

Uses streaming in file transfer, if server supports it. Files smaller than buffer_size_bytes are not transferred using streaming. Use force with small files. Default: no

The --streaming=ext option must be enabled with z/OS hosts to enable direct MVS dataset access. Use this option when the scpg3 is mainly used for mainframe dataset transfers. Other streaming settings can cause unpredictable results in MVS dataset transfers. On the other hand, note that in Unix System Services (USS) environment, extended streaming can slow down the transfer of small files.

The --streaming=ext option requires also the --checksum=no option, because if checksums are calculated, the file transfer uses staging, which excludes streaming.

An alternative way to activate extended streaming is to define environment variables:



--checksum [ =yes | no | md5 | sha1 | md5-force | sha1-force | checkpoint ]

Uses MD5 or SHA-1 checksums or a separate checkpoint database to determine the point in the file where file transfer can be resumed. Files smaller than buffer_size_bytes are not checked. Use md5-force or sha1-force with small files (default: yes, i.e. use SHA1 checksums in FIPS mode, MD5 checksums otherwise). Use checkpointing when transferring large files one by one.

-W, --whole-file

Does not try incremental checks. By default (if this option is not given), incremental checks are tried. This option can only be used together with the --checksum option.


Time interval between checkpoint updates (default: 10 seconds). This option can only be used when --checksum=checkpoint.


Byte interval between checkpoint updates (default: 10 MB). This option can only be used when --checksum=checkpoint.


Uses the specified site parameters with the source files. See the site command in the section called “Commands”.


Uses the specified site parameters with the destination files. See the site command in the section called “Commands”.


Appends data to the end of the destination file.

-V, --version

Displays program version and exits.

-h, --help

Displays a short summary of command-line options and exits.

Filename Support

Different operating systems allow different character sets in filenames. On Unix and Linux, some of the special characters are allowed in filenames, but on Windows, the following characters are not allowed:

\/ : * ? " < > |

When you use the scpg3 command to copy files with special characters (for example unixfilename*?".txt) from a Unix or Linux server to Windows, you need to provide the files with new names that are acceptable on Windows. Enter the commands in the following format:

$ scpg3 user@unixserver:"unixfilename~*~?\".txt" windowsfilename.txt

The general rule is to follow your platform specific syntax when you enter filenames containing special characters as arguments to the scpg3 command.

SSH Tectia fully supports filenames containing only ASCII characters. Filenames containing characters from other character sets are not guaranteed to work.

Using Wildcards

The scpg3 command supports * and ? as wildcards.

The wildcards can be used both on the remote and the local side in the commands. The following example command will copy all text files (*.txt) from all subdirectories of directory dir2 whose names begin with the prefix data- into the current local directory ( . ):

$ scpg3 -r user@server:"dir2/data-*/*.txt" .

Note that on Unix and Linux, the characters * and ? can appear also in the filenames. So it is necessary to use escape characters to distinguish the wildcards from the characters belonging to a filename. See more information in the section called “Escaping special characters”.

Escaping special characters

Some special characters that are used in filenames in different operating system, may have a special meaning in the SSH Tectia commands. Note also that the meaning can be different in various parts of the file transfer system.

In the scpg3 command, the following characters have a special meaning, and they need to be escaped in commands that take filenames as arguments:

* asterisk is a wildcard for any number of any characters

? question mark is a wildcard for any single character

"" quotation marks placed around strings that are to be taken 'as is'

\ backslash is an escape character on Unix

~ tilde is an escape character on Windows.

The escape character tells the scpg3 command to treat the next character "as is" and not to assume any special meaning for it. The escape character is selected according to the operating system of the local machine.

Note that the \ and ~ characters are special characters themselves, and if they are present in the filename, an escape character must be placed in front of them, too. Therefore, if you need to enter a filename containing \ in Unix or ~ in Windows to the scpg3 command, add the relevant escape character to it:

\\ on Unix and Linux

~~ on Windows

See the examples below to learn how the escape characters are used in the SSH Tectia scpg3 command, and how to enter filenames with special characters in different operating systems.

Examples of filenames in the scpg3 command:

The following filenames are valid in Unix and Linux, but they need escape characters in the commands:

file - name.txt 

When using the scpg3 command on Unix or Linux, enter the above mentioned filenames in the following formats:

file\|name.txt     or  "file|name.txt"
file\?name.txt     or  "file\?name.txt"
file\*name.txt     or  "file\*name.txt"
file\\\\name.txt   or  "file\\\name.txt"
file\ -\ name.txt  or  "file - name.txt"

Example commands on Unix or Linux:

$ scpg3 user@server:file\*name.txt .
$ scpg3 user@server:file\ -\ name.txt .

When using the scpg3 command on Windows, enter the above mentioned Unix filenames in the following formats:

file-\"name\".txt     (Note that Windows requires \ to escape the " character)
"file - name.txt"

The operating system interprets the quotation marks ("") here so that the scpg3 command receives the string without the quotation marks as a parameter.

Example commands on Windows:

> scpg3 user@server:"file~*name.txt" filename.txt
> scpg3 user@server:"file - name.txt" .

Exit Values

scpg3 returns the following values based on the success of the operation:

0     Operation was successful. 
1     Internal error. 
2     Connection aborted by the user.
3     Destination is not a directory, but a directory was specified by the user. 
4     Connecting to the host failed. 
5     Connection lost. 
6     File does not exist. 
7     No permission to access file. 
11    Some non-fatal errors occured during a directory operation.
101   Wrong command-line arguments specified by the user. 

Environment Variables

scpg3 uses the following environment variables:


Defines the default checksum mode for sftpg3 and scpg3 commands. Checksums are used to determine the point in the file where file transfer can be resumed if it gets interrupted.

no - checksums are not used; the file is always transferred from the beginning until EOF. This prevents staging in z/OS.

md5 - MD5 checksums are used

md5-force - MD5 checksums are forced

sha1 - SHA1 checksums are used

sha1-force - SHA1 checksums are forced

checkpoint - a separate checkpoint database is used.


Defines the default streaming mode to be used with sftpg3 and scpg3 commands.

no - streaming is not used.

yes - standard streaming is used.

ext - extended streaming is used.


This environment variable represents a number of variables where the xxx is one of the file transfer parameters listed under the sftpg3 site command. The variables apply to processing of local files and they set the default values that can be overridden with the advisor strings.


Copy files from your local system to a remote Unix system:

$ scpg3 localfile user@remotehost:/dst/dir/

Copy files from your local system to a remote Windows system:

$ scpg3 localfile user@remotehost:/C:/dst/dir/

Copy files from a remote system to your local disk:

$ scpg3 user@remotehost:/src/dir/srcfile /dst/dir/dstfile

Copy files from one remote system to another using connection profiles defined in the ssh-broker-config.xml file:

$ scpg3 profile1:/src/dir/srcfile profile2:/dst/dir/dstfile




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