How To Copy Files From a Windows PC to Linux

Have you decided to make the switch in your operating system of choice? If your answer is yes, you may have to learn how to copy files from a Windows PC to Linux. Making the change might seem daunting initially, but you will be a pro once you get past the initial setup.

How To Copy Files From a Windows PC to Linux

Although copying files from one program to another is relatively straightforward, you still need to learn how to do it properly. Keep reading to find out your different file transfer options.

How to Transfer Files From Windows to Linux

To move your files from one operating system to the other, you must choose a method that will work best for you. Here are four methods you can choose from:

  • Using an external network communication service (SSH or Secure Shell)
  • Using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Using a sync software
  • Using the Linux virtual machine

Find out the details for each method in the sections below.

Copy Data From a Windows PC to Linux With SSH

Secure Shell (SSH) is a specific network protocol that offers users safe access to a different device. Therefore, your first step with this method is to enable SSH on your Linux device. Once you do this, you will be able to copy your files through the command line from Windows to Linux.

How to Set Up an SSH Server on Linux

  1. You will need to open a terminal and update your operating system.
  2. Install the SSH server through the OpenSSH server. This server allows you to eliminate all potential threats to your data.
  3. As you wait for the SSH server to finish the installation, you can ensure that the OpenSSH server is properly running using the Sudo service SSH status.
  4. Install an SSH client such as PuTTY. This is an entirely free file transfer application between different networks, but it can’t function without the PSCP or the PuTTY secure copy client tool.
  5. Download and save the pcp.exe file on your Windows C:\ drive.
  6. Copy your files from Windows to Linux with the following code:
    c:\pscp c:
    ome\path\to\a\file.txt [email protected]:\home\user

Note that you will have to input your Linux computer password before the file transfer begins.

Copy Data From a Windows PC to Linux With FTP

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is another great way to copy your data from Windows to Linux. Many may find this method more manageable since you do not need to type any commands. Check your Linux server and ensure it is up and running for this approach. Also, you’ll need an app such as FileZilla to transfer with FTP.

  1. Run the FileZilla application.
  2. Open the “Site Manager.”
  3. Create a “New Site.”
  4. Change to the “SFTP” protocol.
  5. Input the target IP address into the “Host” section.
  6. Add your username and password.
  7. Switch to “Normal” for the “Logon” type.
  8. Press “Connect.”

After this, you will be able to use the FTP application to move your files from one server to the other.

Copy Data From a Windows PC to Linux With a Sync Software

Using a file synching program to copy your files from Windows to Linux is another option. Usually, these programs manage the connection between two devices or systems via an encrypted key. There are two great apps you can use for this method:

  • Resilio Sync – Although this app offers a paid version, the free option will do the job.
  • SyncThing – This app offers the same services as the previous one, but it is 100% free.

Whether you choose the first or the second option, the way they work is the same. After you install your desired app on Windows and choose a syncing folder, you will be able to create the necessary key. As you set it up on Linux, your data will begin to sync between the two systems.

Copy Data From a Windows PC to Linux With a Linux Virtual Machine

You do not need a completely separate PC to transfer data. There is a way to copy your files from Windows to Linux by running one of your systems, either Windows or Linux, on a virtual machine. This will allow you to run the other system in an app window and use it as a different computer.

To combine your two systems into one computer, you will need the help of additional software. One of the most common ones is Oracle VM VirtualBox. This platform allows its users to actively work with several operating systems within one device.

How to Set Up the VirtualBox Platform

  1. Install the VirtualBox Guest Additions platform.
  2. Choose the “Headless Start” after clicking on “Start” (the green arrow icon).
  3. Find the “Shared Folders” in the “Settings.”
  4. Select the “Machine Folders” option.
  5. Add a shared folder by clicking on the “+” symbol in the window’s top right corner.
  6. Choose the “Folder Path” from the directory and name.
  7. Ensure that the shared folder is available when you run the VM. To achieve this, check the “Auto-mount” box before confirming your choices.
  8. Click the “OK” button.
  9. Reboot your “Virtual Machine” system, and the setup will be ready to use.

Now you can copy your files between the host PC (Windows) and the guest system (Linux) or vice versa.

Transfer Data With Confidence

The most important part of learning how to copy files from a Windows PC to Linux is maintaining an open mind. If you’re unfamiliar with one of the two operating systems, it will take some time to learn how to manage file transfer between the two.

One of the best ways to transfer your files is to give all of the aforementioned methods a try. You will rule out the ones that don’t work for you and find the ones you love. Eventually, you’ll be able to streamline the process using a method that works for you.

Which methods did you try so far, and which one was easiest for you? Share your experience in the comments below.

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