Linux

Using FileZilla on Linux


Recently, the open source FileZilla FTP client became available for Mac OS X and Linux. Previous versions of FileZilla were only available for Windows.

Using the wxWidgets cross-platform user interface, FileZilla now can be used with a consistent look-and-feel on multiple operating systems. The only prerequisite is to have the wxWidgets package installed. Some Linux vendors provide a packaged version of wxWidgets, such as Mandriva Linux, so installation of wxWidgets may only be an apt-get or urpmi away. For others that do not provide it, you will need to download and compile wxWidgets.

To begin, make sure wxWidgets is installed and then download FileZilla from the Web site. Keep in mind that FileZilla 3 is still currently in a beta status, but it should be at release status soon. For Linux, download the i586-linux-gnu package, such as FileZilla_3.0.0-rc3_i586-linux-gnu.tar.bz2.

Unpack FileZilla wherever you wish to install it. The package contains a precompiled binary, so you may want to install into ~/bin/ or /usr/local:

$ cd ~/bin/
$ tar xvjf FileZilla_3.0.0-rc3_i586-linux-gnu.tar.bz2

You can either add ~/bin/FileZilla/bin/ to your path or create a simple wrapper to call FileZilla and place the wrapper script in your path:

#!/bin/sh
~/bin/FileZilla3/bin/filezilla $*

FileZilla has support for transferring files via FTP, FTP over SSL, or SFTP. It has a nice multipaned view that allows you to navigate remote folders as well as local folders, a queue pane that indicates files being transferred, estimated transfer time, speed, etc. It even has a pane that shows the raw FTP commands being issued.

It comes with a "Quickconnect" interface that remembers what sites you have recently visited, allowing you to quickly reconnect to those sites with minimal work. You can also queue files for later downloading, allowing you to select a number of files, queue them, select some more, and have them all download in one shot once you're ready to begin the transfers. This way, you can queue some files for download and also immediately download others, simply by right-clicking on the file name. Or you can do immediate transfers by dragging files from the remote list to the local list, and vice versa.

Being a beta, there are still some rough edges, but on the whole, it works quite well, some visual interface quirks aside.

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About

Vincent Danen works on the Red Hat Security Response Team and lives in Canada. He has been writing about and developing on Linux for over 10 years and is a veteran Mac user.

6 comments
rickst29
rickst29

I'm not sure if I'll really notice much difference (in my usage) -- I haven't tried using it yet. But Filezilla 2x rules my Windoze machines, and it would be nice to switch to a consistent FTP toolset.

FXEF
FXEF

While FileZilla on Linux may be a great tool it's not the simplest solution to file transfer. To download files I use wget. For a simple easy light weight FTP tool, it's FireFTP for me. FireFTP is a Firefox extension that has never failed me.

jlwallen
jlwallen

when i need the services of ftp i always turn to gftp. it's simple to use, fast, and reliable.

DanLM
DanLM

Every single tar, gzip, or what ever that I needed to grab from the web for my servers has been downloaded with wget. I also have automated scripts that I wrote which use wget. Why? Because I can move that script from one machine to another. And I haven't touched the complexity that wget allows for. dan

Jaqui
Jaqui

but I tested kftp against it a month ago, and the KDE tool actually performed faster than the GNOME tool. [ I still use gftp for my graphic ui based ftp sessions, since not all transfers are downloads, and not all remote hosts have subversion or cvs or allow ssh access. ]

Jaqui
Jaqui

a whole mess that can be scripted to keep your local files synchronized with a remote location. I've never looked at Filezilla, but with all the options in any distro, why do I need to add another one? ;) I barely touch the abilities of the ones I have.