May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix


News Recommended Links Recommended Papers OFM Book History of WinSCP development OFM Standards
Scripting interface SSH for System Administrators Passwordless SSH login  WinSCP Tips Humor Etc


WinSCP is the only high quality, active development project of OFM for Windows that is using GNU license. It is a very good, flexible SFTP client, SCP  client, FTPS  client and FTP client  for Windows. Since version 7.5 it supports WebDAV!

WinSCP was created by Martin Prikryl and like most OFMs is a one-man project.   Martin Prikryl started this project in March 2000, while working in the IT department of University of Economics in Prague. The temporary name “WinSCP” (Windows Secure CoPy) was chosen until a nicer name was thought of (which never actually happened). Along with Filezilla, WinSCP was one of the first GUI clients for SSH on Microsoft Windows, but from the very beginning it has higher quality.  Due to its more intuitive interface, as a GUI client, I prefer it to Filezilla any time of the day. See History of WinSCP development for more details.

As of October 2015 the most recent version is 5.7.5. This version is somewhat strange as it asks for connection to the remote site on invocation (probably because in WinSCP both panels can't be local).

While it has OFM interface the main stress is on file transfers between a local and a remote computer. Beyond this, WinSCP offers scripting and basic file manager functionality.


WinSCP is a very good, flexible SFTP client, SCP  client, FTPS  client and FTP client  for Windows.  It uses PuTTY format of SSH keys. It can execute PuTTYgen and Pageant (from  Tools menu on Login dialog). With a built-in editor that works for remote files it beats competition such as FAR or Total Commander.

The most important advantage of WinSCP over similar tools is that several sessions are supported simultaneously and you can "stack" them  in a way you wish.  Switching is via convenient horizontal tabs. 

WinSCP provides very convenient integrated environment for working with Linux servers because it integrates well with Putty (a unique feature of WinSCP). No need to remember passwords anymore. It can launch Putty with the parameters stored on in WinSCP “sessions" allowing you to connect without further authentication. This ability to launch Putty with authentication settings taken from existing "session" in WinSCP makes it perfect launcher for Putty even if you do not use WinSCP features much.

Multiple sessions can be creates – one for each of your machines. Directories can be compared and newer file transferred to remote server or from the remote server with one click.

You can also compare individual files, which few other OFMs can do.

WinSCP take working with "directories favorites" to a new level. This is actually a very weak feature of FAR and it is absent from Total Commander. In WinSCP you can store frequently used directories inside you session or globally. The same true for windows desktop. If also provides you an ability to store favorites in two ways: per session and globally.  computer). This makes it a better sysadmin tool then many other OFMs, as navigating to the necessary directory in other OFMs is a more cumbersome process. 


WinSCP allows to edit files on the remote machine using built-in editor which is more user friendly that anything I know. This is unique capability to use standard windows style editor for editing files directly on Linux/Unix server. This is a notepad class editor, simple but very functional:

If your file requires a more complex editor you can configure if for specific extension, for example  for *.pl you can use Nodepad++ which allow you to use Perl aware editor on remote files without manually transferring files back and forth.

for some extensions instead of editor you can use some other application for example viewer.

There is a setting to allow to open command line at the bottom. The results of the command entered are displayed in a separate screen. There is a built-in history of commands in this screen. Actually a pretty neat implementation of the "third" windows of OFM in GUI environment.

WinSCP also  allows to view hidden files and directories Ctrl-Alt-H. Attributes of files can be not only viewed and changed but also changed recursively.

Standard for OFMs command line at the bottom can be activated via Shift-Ctrl-N. Execution of command invoke the third window which has history of commands.  

You can synch directories between Windows desktop and remote server and several other more complex things that enhance your productivity (it is a scriptable tool)

Like in any OFM files can be displayed using mask  (basic regular expressions) like in ls.

In many corporation this is a default tool for working with Linux servers

It is free and is licensed under GNU license. See History of WinSCP development for more details.


Scripting interface

WinSCP offers scripting interface that you can use to automate many operations that it supports, including file transfers, synchronization and other operations. You can use either Windows command interpreter which is adequate for simple tasks or Windows Scripting Host.  For example here is a script that uploads a single file:

option batch abort
option confirm off
open [email protected]
put examplefile.txt /home/user/

You can assemble the commands into a script file and use  /script command line option to pass the script to the WinSCP executable. You can embed the complete command line into a Windows batch file (.bat):

@echo off /script=myscript.txt

this way you can create icons for various automated operations

If the wrapping batch file takes filename as command line parameter (see below) you can: Make shortcut to it on desktop and use it by dropping files on the icon. Windows automatically run the batch file and passes path to dropped file as command-line parameter.

In a similar way you can put the shortcut to the batch file into Explorer’s ‘Send To’ context menu (c:\documents and settings\username\sendto). 

Plugin with FAR and  Altap Salamander (discontinued)

Older versions of WinSCP were available as plugins for two file managers: FAR and  Altap Salamander.

Configuration Storage

WinSCP can store its configuration both to Windows registry and INI file. When installed, the configuration is stored by default into the registry. Portable versions use by default an INI file (if possible). To switch the storage see Storage page of Preferences window.

Note that configuration of restrictions and enforcements by administrator, is always stored in Windows registry.

You can clean up all configuration data stored on your machine.

To export/back up your configuration, go to Tools > Export/Backup configuration on Login dialog.

In older versions of WinSCP, use Export button on Preferences dialog

To import/restore the configuration, go to Tools > Import/Restore configuration on Login dialog

To transfer your configuration to another computer/location, export the configuration to an INI file and then import the file on the another computer/location.

If you use registry as configuration storage, the configuration is stored under following key.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Martin Prikryl\WinSCP 2] 
 When loading configuration, WinSCP first looks for an INI file in the directory, where WinSCP executable 
is stored in. The INI file needs to have an .ini extension and the same name as the executable 
(i.e. WinSCP.ini). If INI file in not found there, WinSCP looks to application data directory 
of your user profile, i.e. to C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\WinSCP.ini. 

Top Visited
Past week
Past month


Old News ;-)

[May 23, 2013] How to Connect to an iPod Using WinSCP eHow

SSH transfers only work with a jailbroken iPod Touch.

The file transfer program WinSCP allows you to transfer files between your iPod and computer. While the iTunes program does not allow you to put your own files on the iPod, WinSCP allows you to do this over a Wi-Fi connection. After you connect to your iPod through Wi-Fi, you can then upload videos, songs or applications, that you did not purchase from iTunes.

[May 23, 2013] Added commands to execute PuTTYgen and Pageant to Tools menu on Login dialog.

Stopping WinSCP filepart errors by Mike Laverick

Last week a student on my course gave me a tip. Personally, I prefer to use Veeam's FastSCP for ESX Server when transferring files from my Windows Desktop to ESX 3. However, occasionally in the lab environments I work in I have to use WinSCP which is slower. One thing I have observed is if I copy a file such as an ISO to a VMFS volume, then WinSCP gives me an error. Basically, what happens is though the files get copied to the VMFS volume – and error occurs when renaming the file from say – w2k3sp2.iso.filepart to w2k3sp2.iso. This is caused by the "Resume" feature in WinSCP which is intended to pickup an upload when it fails from where it failed, rather than starting the upload from the beginning. It appears as VMFS doesn't support this functionality.

The solution to this problem is a work-around. To disable the "Resume" feature in the WinSCP software. I don't mind doing this. Everything is gigabit in the lab environments I work in and very reliable so I don't really need the resume feature. To disable the WinSCP "Resume" feature do the following:

In the menu choose, Options and Preferences
Under Transfer, select Resume
Under "Enable transfer resume for", select Disable
Under "Automatic Reconnect", disable "Automatic reconnect session, if it breaks during transfer"

[May 23, 2013] WinSCP 5.1.5 released

Download winscp515setup.exe

5.1.4, 2013-02-18

5.1.3, 2013-01-06

5.1.2, 2012-12-02

5.1.1, 2012-11-06

[ Oct 19, 2012 ] WinSCP 5.1 released


This version is the first stable release of 5.x branch. The new features of 5.x include:

Tips n Tricks PuTTY-WinSCP Import-Export

Tips to export/import putty/Winscp sessions

Exporting your PuTTy saved sessions
1. Click Start->Run and type "RegEdt32" in the "Open" dialog. Click "Ok"

2. Drill into HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham

3. Click File->Export. Give your file an appropriate name like, "putty.reg" and click "Save"

4. We're done! Save the putty.reg file somewhere safe. The file doesn't contain any passwords or actual SSH key values so, it's relatively safe from prying eyes. Still, it does contain your configuration and that kind of data is a private matter.

Importing your PuTTy Configuration

1.To import your saved PuTTy configuration on any other Windows computer simply copy your exported registry key, right click on the file and click "Merge
2.Windows will ask you for confirmation that you want to import this set of registry values.

Recommended Links

Google matched content

Softpanorama Recommended

Top articles




Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

Copyright © 1996-2021 by Softpanorama Society. was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site


The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the Softpanorama society. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose. The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Last modified: March 12, 2019