I'm at a point where I am trying to get some files off a SD Card that I used in an old Pi. I thought it would be easiest to use FileZilla to simply copy and paste the files from my Pi to my laptop. If only.

I can't seem to get a connection with FileZilla, which is strange as I can SSH into my Pi using putty no problem. So my current plan is to plug a memory stick into the Pi and using a LXTerminal command copy everything off the root filesystem and onto the memory stick. Is there a command that would do this?

  • 3
    The cp command will do what you want, but if you are using the GUI you can drag and drop. Did you install an FTP server on the Pi? If not that is why FTP did not work. You can however, use scp over SSH. Man SCP and man cp will bring up the manual page for those commands and should give you what you need. Mar 9, 2016 at 20:21
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    If you can SSH into the Pi then why not use sftp on the Pi to put the files onto the Windows machine? E.g. sftp windows_host_name then put file_names then quit.
    – joan
    Mar 9, 2016 at 20:22
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    Likely windows will not even recognize the 2nd partition on the SD card unless you install software to support ext filesystems.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 9, 2016 at 20:29
  • @SteveRobillard There should be no need to "install an FTP server". I can access my Pi using FileZilla using default Raspbian. You probably need a server to use ftp:// in a browser.
    – Milliways
    Mar 10, 2016 at 0:03
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    Plugged my SD Card into my laptop and used DiskInternals Linux Reader to get the files off, worked like a charm.
    – Darth Vader
    Mar 10, 2016 at 8:21

6 Answers 6


I use WinSCP from my Windows machine.

This is easy to use GUI which also allows you to drag and drop, and easily navigate between folders.


enter image description here

To gain access to all files and locations on the RPI then you will probably need to use the SCP file transfer protocol and enable SUDO. You can see how to do that here:



Putty also makes a program called pscp, which is a Windows port of scp. The -r option specifies recursion, if you need that functionality. See the image below for the options for pscp. I've had permissions issues on Windows where sudo scp or sudo rsync would be used in the Linux environment. If your files are accessible with the default pi user, you should be okay.

pscp help

From the Windows machine, you'd run the following command to grab files from the pi to your local machine. Press 'y' to store the RSA key upon first use.

pscp [email protected]:/home/pi/.bash_history* c:\temp\

pscp from laptop to windows

You didn't explicitly state that your laptop was Windows. If it isn't, use scp. The switches are similar to pscp.


Since you are able to SSH into your Raspi using putty, it should be possible to use FileZilla for file transfer through SSH.

Try selecting SFTP as the protocol when connecting FileZilla to your Raspi, or if you are using the Quickconnect option select the port where your Raspi listens to for SSH (by default this is port 22).


I had the same problem and ended up developing sysdev to simplify and streamline the development process: https://github.com/micheda/sysdev

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    It would be more helpful if you could you summarize what you did instead of just saying "I used this".
    – sir_ian
    Feb 10, 2017 at 19:32

I plugged the SD card into my Windows 10 laptop, installed DiskInternals Linux Reader. I then copied the necessary files using that.


On Windows OS you need this free tool : Paragon ExtFS for Windows

UPDATE: If you have such a problem and also have mentioned FileZilla, I presume you have a Windows host. If you have a Linux host - just insert a card into your host's reader, and you will have a partition able to be copied. On Windows same thing is realised by the tool I've mentioned, install and just run it - your extFS partitions will be mapped as disks, go and get your files.

If you need to make a full copy - cp -r will be a good start, if you're entering your SSH as root user - just use a latest FileZilla and use it to copy via Ftp-over-SSH(sftp), works like a charm

  • Once again a good answer consists of more than a URL. Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. Mar 9, 2016 at 21:08

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