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If I'm say, editing a file in VIM, the state of the remote machine needs to be sent to my Mac. I know that browsers cache images and such. Does SSH do the same? Are there any programs for Mac that do that? Would I be able to use that data to recover remote files?

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Define "data" in this context. HTTP clients (browsers) cache specific objects based on server and client caching and privacy policies. SSH is a completely different paradigm...what data would you be interested in? –  AJ. Mar 20 '12 at 22:55

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SSH simply allows you to use a shell (command line) on a remote machine; it doesn't cache the data that you access.

If you're looking for a solution to back up files from another machine, and Time Machine isn't what you want, perhaps check out rsync.

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Looks like rsync is the answer. –  Moshe Mar 21 '12 at 1:10

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