How to Transfer Files to Remote Linux Server from Windows 10

Managing a Linux server remotely is challenging. Especially for you who just jump to Linux world. Transferring files from a Windows PC to another Windows PC is very easy. But how to transfer files to a remote Linux machine from a Windows PC? This tutorial will guide you on how to transfer files to a remote Linux server from a Windows PC. I use the term file transfer here so it does not mix up with “backup”. The following methods are not a backup solution.

Here are some methods to transfer files to Linux host from the Windows machine.

A. FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a popular way to transfer files between an FTP server and a client machine. In order to transfer files using FTP, you must have the following:

  • FTP Server
  • FTP Client software

So basically, you need to set up an FTP server on your Linux host and then you can upload or download files to your Linux host using an FTP client such: Filezilla FTP client, SmartFTP, WinSCP, Free FTP and more.

Read the following article to set up an FTP Server on a Linux machine (CentOS).

B. SSH (Secure Shell)

SSH is another secure way to connect and transfer files to a Linux server. Usually, the ssh comes as a pre-installed package on most Linux distribution. To use SSH protocol to transfer files from the Windows machine, you will need software such as WinSCP, BitVise SSH Client, SmartFTP. That software comes with a built-in file manager.

If you don’t want to use the graphical software as mentioned above, you can connect and transfer files to the remote SSH server from a command line. Use Termius, or Putty to connect to the server and transfer files via command line. You can read the following article to learn how to transfer files using SCP command in Terminal.

C. Samba

Samba is a popular file-sharing protocol that has been around for many years now. It works very well on both Linux and Windows 10. We need to configure the Samba server on the Linux server-side and then open the shared folder in Windows 10 via Windows Explorer. No third party software needed.

The Samba server works very well on a LAN network. But most of the time, it has a low performance over the internet connection. It works but may perform slower. Read more about Samba.


If you have a Linux server running file storage and sharing services such as Nextcloud or Owncloud, you can use the WebDAV feature to transfer files. You can use the web browser to upload or download files to your Linux server. Or alternatively, you can also mount the WebDAV directory via Windows Explorer in Windows 10.

WebDAV stands for “Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning”. It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers.

Final Thoughts

In this modern world, Windows and Linux can communicate very well. File transfer, the backup process can be done on both operating systems. There may another method that I miss here. Please share your ideas in the comment box below. Thanks for reading.

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