wiki:faq/files/sftp

Version 10 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 12 years ago) (diff)

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How do I copy files to and from my server? How do I use FTP/SFTP?

Copying files from your computer to your web site (and vice versa) allows you to add or modify or backup content on your web site.

In order to copy these files, you will need a user account that has been granted "Server Access" via the Members Control Panel. You can see if your username has been granted this privilege by selecting "Server Access" from the Services drop down menu. If your user is not listed, click "Add item" to add your user.

In addition, you will need a special program installed on your computer.

We recommend using one of the following free programs (see below), however, May First will work with any program that uses the secure copy/secure FTP protocol.

A note on fingerprints

You will be asked with "host" or "server" you would like to connect to. Although you can use your domain name (such as mayfirst.org), we recommend that you specify your Primary host instead (such as malcolm.mayfirst.org, chavez.mayfirst.org, etc.). You can find your primary host by logging into the Members Control Panel and looking in the top right corner.

The first time you connect to one of our servers, your Secure FTP program should warn you that you are connecting to a server that you have never connected to before. This warning is important! You do not want to risk connecting to the wrong server, because you will essentially be handing this server your username and password.

Please review our fingerprints page to ensure that the fingerprint that is being reported matches the fingerprint of the server you are connecting to.

Recommended Software

Windows: WinSCP

The WinSCP download page gives you lots of options to choose from. You may see some packages under a header called "Beta" - you should not choose these packages. Beta means that are still in a testing phase. Choose from a package that does not have "Beta" in the name.

You will also be given the option to choose from "Standalone" or "Installation package" or a few others. If you are not sure, choose "Installation Package" - that package will guide you through a familiar install process to get the program properly installed on your computer.

Macintosh OS X: CyberDuck

Linux: GFTP

How do I find my files?

Using the sftp program, begin a session with the hostname, username and password we've sent you. You will see a directory listing that includes a folder with the same name as your web site domain. Click on that folder and then open the sub-directory called "web". You can upload and manage your site files in that directory.

But why can't I use FTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an older method for copying files from your computer to a web server. Unfortunately, FTP sends your password over the Internet in plain text, which is not considered a good idea. The secure copy programs mentioned above work very similarly to the way FTP programs work, except that they encrypt your password and all the information you copy back and forth.