Many years ago I got an early version of the Raspberry Pi. I fiddled with it a bit but didn't do much with it. A few months ago I decided to buy a newer version to have a mini computer I could use for a specific web scraping project I was running. I have a cron job that runs a Python script every minute and saves the results to a file, all on the Raspberry Pi.

Recently I realized I don't have to connect the Raspberry Pi to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to check on the status of my scraper. Raspberry Pi has built in ssh access. To summarize what's currently in their documentation

  • Enable ssh access in the Raspberry Pi Configuration option from the Preferences Menu
  • At the Raspberry Pi terminal, type hostname -i to get the Raspberry Pi's IP address
  • At your local computer's Linux terminal type in ssh pi@<that-ip-address. For example, ssh pi@
  • Type yes for the security/authenticity warning
  • Enter your Raspberry Pi password when prompted*
  • Now you'll be at the Raspberri Pi command line prompt

This makes it easy to copy files from the Raspberry Pi to the local machine.

To copy the file f.txt from the Raspberry Pi to your local machine, use the scp command. Use the same user and address as ssh above followed by a colon and the full path to the file to note the source file. Add a space separator, and then note the local destination path. You'll be asked for your password as above.

scp pi@ /home/maneesha/Documents

You can set up public/private keys so you don't need to enter a password each time -- that's a topic for another post. I've written the above in the context of working with Raspberry Pi but it can apply to any server you have ssh access to.

*The Raspberry Pi ships with a default username pi and password raspberry -- change this!