network copy with ssh and tar

You can use ssh in conjunction with tar to pull an entire directory tree from a remote machine into your current directory:
ssh tar cf - -C . | tar xvf - 
For example, let's say you have a "bsmith" account on a host called "apple". You want to copy those files into your "bobsmith" account on a host called "pear". You'd log into your "bobsmith@pear" account and type the following:

ssh bsmith@apple tar cf - -C /home/bsmith . | tar xvf - 
This technique is useful when you have insufficient disk space on the source machine to make an intermediate tarball

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