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Best FTP and SFTP Clients for Linux (For You)

What to look for in an FTP/SFTP client?

The answer to this question is really important . If you are a home user or just manage a WordPress site or other, you may be able to get away with a very simple file transfer client. All you may need is a simple graphical user interface (GUI) and support for a protocols. On the other hand, if you are an advanced user or subject to specific compliance requirements, you may have a much more extensive list of needs when it comes to your FTP/SFTP client software needs. Below is a quick rundown of some of the features you may want to keep an eye out for:

 

  • Protocols & encryption method support – Do you know you will only ever need SFTP support? Are you in a role where one server uses SFTP, another FTPS, another HTTPS, and another FTP? Similarly, do you care (for compliance reasons or otherwise) about the security of the encryption methods your client software uses? You’ll need to consider these points when picking client software.
  • Drag & drop – This is a convenience feature, but drag and drop with client software GUIs can streamline the file transfer process.
  • File integrity checks – How do you know if the file you moved from location A to location B made it there without any corruption? Comparing the hash or checksum can help you do this. Some client software will take care of this for you.
  • Scheduling of actions – How much time will you save if you or your team can automate your file transfers? If you are in a medium or larger sized business, automating the easy stuff can help save on Opex.
  • Connection limits 
  • Do you need to be able to make unlimited FTP/SFTP connections or can you get away with just one or two?
  • Logging – For auditing, compliance, and troubleshooting, detailed logs can be essential. Does logging matter to you?
  • Synchronization & backups –  Do you need to be able to sync files at two different locations automatically? Would automating a backup process save your team a ton of time? If yes, look for these features in your client software.

Clients:

1. FileZilla

FileZilla is a free and open-source (released under the GNU General Public License) FTP client software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

FileZilla is a popular and mature FTP client software that supports FTP, FTPS, and SFTP. The “pro” version of FileZilla adds support for WebDAV and a variety of cloud storage providers (Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.) as well. FileZilla supports drag and drop, transfer of files greater than 4GB, configurable transfer speed limits, and more.

One of the most significant benefits of FileZilla is its broad user community. If you are stuck trying to figure things out on your own and run into issues, this could be a handy free resource.

Key Features:

  • Secure file transfer
  • FTPS and SFTP
  • Free to use

2. Access FTP using your regular file manager

Yes, you can use your regular file manager for the same purpose. It does not matter which one you are using:

– Nautilus (Most Popular)
– Nemo (Very feature full)
– Elementary file (Sexy)
– Thunar (All I know, Mind Linux uses it), etc.

All these come with the FTP support.

In order to connect, click on connect to server then choose type as FTP, enter the details and click on the connect button.

You can now browse the remote directory just like you browse through your local directories.

3. MonstaFTP

MonstaFTP is a novel approach to FTP. It is a PHP and JavaScript-based app that runs on a website and effectively makes your browser the FTP client. While this means that the network server administrator would need to set it up and therefore it isn’t the ideal solution for everyone, we thought the idea was worth noting here as well.

MonstaFTP supports FTPFTPSSFTP, and SCP. It enables users to upload .zip files and extract them on the server-side, edit files on-screen, customize the user interface, and re-brand the software. This could be an interesting solution if you are an administrator looking to make life easier for your users. As opposed to making them pick a client on their own (which may come with a non-trivial support burden for you), you can provide the client on the server-side. The ability to drag and drop from Browser is a nice plus as well.

Key Features:

  • Browser based
  • FTP, SFTP, FTPS, and SCP
  • Free version

You can download the free version or buy a license here.

 

 

Other Linux clients you can use:

 

1.  CrossFTP

According to the official blog, CrossFTP is a free FTP, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier and Google storage client for Win, Mac, and Linux.

2. LFTP

LFTP is a command line FTP client for linux. t supports FTP, HTTP, FISH, SFTP, HTTPS and FTPS protocols. Some of the features are:

  • FTP and HTTP protocols support.
  • FTP (e.g. TIS FWTK) proxy support.
  • HTTP proxy support.
  • FTP over HTTP proxy support (hftp and CONNECT method).
  • HTTPS and FTPS protocols support using GNU TLS or OpenSSL library.
  • Automatic OPIE/SKEY support in FTP protocol.
  • FXP transfers support (between two FTP servers, bypassing client machine).
  • FTP listings support: unix-style, NT, EPLF, OS/2, AS400, MacWebStar, MLSD.
  • FTP implicit compression (MODE Z) support.
  • Automatic reconnect and retry of an operation on retriable errors or timeout.
  • IPv6 support in both FTP and HTTP.
  • FISH protocol support. It uses ssh with no special program on server side.
  • SFTP protocol v3-v6 support.

3. gFTP

gFTP is a free multithreaded file transfer client for Linux. It supports FXP file transfers (transferring files between 2 remote servers via FTP).

4. GNOME Commander

GNOME Commander is a GUI based file manager for the Linux desktop running Gnome desktop environment.GCMD is built on the GTK-toolkit and GnomeVFS.