Open file from remote computer on host computer

I’m trying to edit a file from a remote computer connected via ssh. How can I open the remote file on my local computer to edit?

Asked By: masterninja01


During a ssh session you can just open the file with an editor, for example vi/vim or nano.

$ vi file.txt

If you’re not sure how to use these, check the manpage.

Answered By: ulmer-a

If you are familiar with vim, you may use it as follows:

vim scp://user@host:port/file_path_and_filename

Make sure not to forget the “/” character before the filepath; otherwise it won’t work; for example:

vim scp://user@

You can skip the portnumber if is the same of the default on your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file

Answered By: dgsleeps

You can mount the remote directory with sshfs, after that, the file is accessible in your local directory tree.


sshfs user@domain:/remote/directory/ /local/directory/

It’s all in the man pages.

Or just copy the file over with scp/rsync, edit it, and copy it back.

Answered By: orion

If you want to use GUI programs installed on the remote machine, you can forward remote display to your local PC.

 $ ssh -X

Now open a remote file using a GUI editor installed on remote machine

 $ geany ~/Documents/file.txt
Answered By: Dunga

If you use GNOME or KDE:

  • open file manager
  • press Ctrl+L to focus address bar
  • enter sftp://host/ and press Enter (replace “host” with your target host)

The file system of the remote host will be displayed in file manager now, and you can navigate to your target directory and double-click the file to open it.
As far as I know you can now use any local program to open the file (it doesn’t have to be a Gnome or KDE application).

You should also be able to set a bookmark to the remote target directory, to quickly get there again later.

If you want to connect as a different user or using a different port, you can use sftp://user@host:port/somedirectory/.

Answered By: oliver

I found the easiest way for me was to mount the folder (with CIFS in my case)

See How do I access a mounted Windows share from the command line?.

Answered By: Steji
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