WinSCP is a popular tool used for quick uploading and downloading files between hosts. On a Linux or Mac, scp is a CLI tool already built in and can be invoked by using the scp command. However, unlike Linux and Mac, there is no native CLI for scp on Windows.

One tool that can be installed is pscp.exe from the guys who brought you PuTTY, found here. This post will go over the WinSCP, a GUI alternative. The latest version as of this writing is 5.11.1 which can be found here.

There a three steps required in order to get WinSCP to properly transfer files with an Arista switch. Under the hood, Arista EOS runs on Fedora 18, so no reason why we can’t use WinSCP for this.

Step 1 – Create a user account with Priv 15

WinSCP requires that the user account with “full access”. To help with this, specify keyword privilege 15 when creating the user account

AristaSwitch#username william secret william privilege 15

Step 2 – Skip User Mode

Next, we’ll need this user account to log directly into the Enable mode (the # prompt), not the User mode (> prompt). To do this, use the aaa authorization commands.

AristaSwitch#aaa authorization exec default local

The syntax above is for local user accounts

AristaSwitch#aaa authorization exec default group [ radius | tacacs+]

The syntax above is if you have a AAA RADIUS or TACACS+ Server list setup

Step 3 – Change Shell to bash

Last step is to ensure that the Shell WinSCP is using, is set to bash. Note, this is not set by default, you literally need to type in ‘bash’. If not, you will see an error message seen this screenshot below.

Host is not communication for more than 15 seconds. Still waiting…Note: If the problem repeats, try turning off “Optimize connection buffer size’.

Despite WinSCP’s best efforts to help, the buffer size is NOT the reason for this. :) We need to change the Shell profile used here, it is set to Default by default.

Click Advanced

Click Environment > SCP/Shell > under Shell: field literally type out bash and click OK. 

Finally, click Login.


And we’re finally in!  Note, to get to the /, click the .. a few times until you get to the /mnt/flash dir. From here, you can drag & drop files, delete files, make dir, etc.



William Zambrano

William Zambrano

NYC networkers is run by William Zambrano, a passionate network engineer who has been in the IT industry for eight years who posts up blog articles, YouTube videos, and holds events in the NYC area. He lives in Queens, New York and has consulted in various different companies in the NY area. Previously William worked as a Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI) but now currently works for Arista Networks serving as a Systems Engineer. William can be reached by email at

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