App Directory: The Best FTP App For Linux

FTP is a great way to transfer files to the cloud, and you have some pretty good choices of FTP clients on Linux. However, our favourite is the powerful, cross-platform FilezZilla.


Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux

Price: Free
Download Page

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  • A highly configurable interface that supports drag-and-drop for easy file transfer
  • Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SFTP protocols
  • Supports resume and transfer of large files over 4GB
  • Tabs for opening multiple connections
  • Simple bookmarking system for often-used servers
  • Configurable transfer speed limits
  • Advanced search feature with filename filtering
  • Directory comparison and sync
  • A network configuration wizard
  • Remote file editing
  • Many more advanced features

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FileZilla has just about any configuration option you can imagine. If you have to use FTP a lot, FileZilla will let you transfer your files in any way you see fit, as well as search through large servers to find just the file you’re looking for. If you know what you’re doing, you can even tweak a lot of the more advanced options to optimise the speed of your transfers.

At the same time, it’s pretty simple to use, at least for how powerful it is. It can be a bit intimidating at first to new users, but with a few clicks of the mouse, one can configure the interface to something more manageable. If you need more than just the occasional file upload or download, FileZilla is a winner.

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Like we said, FileZilla can be a bit intimidating for beginners, especially if you have to root around the preferences. If you only need basic FTP functions, you’d probably be happier with something simpler like gftp, or one of the FTP-enabled desktop file browsers. Also, FileZilla’s interface, while configurable, isn’t exactly the prettiest and seems unnecessarily cluttered. It’s not a huge issue, but again, if you don’t need its advanced features, there’s no reason to trudge through its interface when you have other choices.

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If FileZilla isn’t for you, the next client I’d actually recommend aren’t standalone FTP clients at all — but desktop file managers, like Nautilus for GNOME and Konqueror for KDE. Both have some pretty solid FTP features built-in and provide desktop integration that make dealing with FTP super easy. You deal with them almost exactly like you would with any other file on your computer; you can view them with your default programs, copy them anywhere, and so on. If you aren’t a super heavy FTP user, this is a pretty awesome way to get those few files transferred.

If you want a dedicated FTP client but FileZilla is just a bit too much, you might like gtfp. It hasn’t really had an update since 2008, but it works, and it’s very, very simple to use. I still think the desktop integration of Nautilus and Konqueror makes them better for most users, but if you aren’t using either of them as your file browser (say, on a low-powered LXDE system), gftp will get the job done.

FireFTP is actually not a separate program, but instead, a Firefox extension. It isn’t quite as powerful as the others, but if you just want simple file uploading and downloading through the FTP protocol, it’s a really convenient way to do it. Plus, it doesn’t require installing another program onto your machine, which is pretty nice.

And, since we know some of you are crazy about the command line, you might also check out LFTP. It has a pretty long list of advanced features, so if you’re in a situation where you don’t have a GUI to work with — or if you just really really like the command line — it’ll certainly do a good job.

There are other FTP clients out there, but chances are you’ll be more than happy with one of the above. If you’ve got a favourite on the list (or even one that’s not on the list), let us know why you love it in the comments.

Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

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