Can anyone recommend a good SFTP client that supports key pair authentication?
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Thread: Can anyone recommend a good SFTP client that supports key pair authentication?

  1. #1
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    Can anyone recommend a good SFTP client that supports key pair authentication?

    I have a server I'd like to keep very secure so I have not installed FTP on the machine and will instead use SFTP which, as I understand it, uses an SSH connection and transfers files using the SSL File Transfer Protocol.

    I managed to connect and transfer a test file using FireFTP and a private key, but FireFTP kind of sucks -- it's just so easy to upload your file to the wrong place.

    Can anyone recommend an SFTP client that supports key-pair authentication and which behaves like the Dreamweaver file manager? I.e., when you right-click a local file in the file manager and click "upload", it uploads the file to the appropriate folder in the webroot rather than just uploading the file to whatever remote folder you have selected in the UI. In other words, the file management UI should be aware that one's local directory structure is a mirror of the remote web root directory structure.
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    PHP Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    I have not used it in awhile since most of my uploading is now done via a version control plugin, but I think FileZilla may suit your purposes. However, to use key based authentication, you would also need to install PuTTY (or at least components thereof).
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    Thanks for the tip. I downloaded FileZilla to try it and there does not appear to be any way to configure it so that it has access to your private key for authentication. I already have puTTY installed and connected and they would appear to be two entirely different programs. I therefore don't think FileZilla supports key-pair auth.
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    PHP Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneakyimp
    I downloaded FileZilla to try it and there does not appear to be any way to configure it so that it has access to your private key for authentication. I already have puTTY installed and connected and they would appear to be two entirely different programs. I therefore don't think FileZilla supports key-pair auth.
    Have you ever tried using PuTTY to SSH into a remote machine using key based authentication? You would have used its Pageant authentication agent to load your private key. Do the same prior to connecting with FileZilla.
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    I have used PuTTY to connect using key-based auth. You just have to set various options for the connection in PuTTY (Connection->SSH->Auth). I had done this while trying to use FileZilla and am unclear on how FileZilla is supposed to make use of this connection that has been established in an entirely different program.
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  6. #6
    PHP Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneakyimp
    I have used PuTTY to connect using key-based auth. You just have to set various options for the connection in PuTTY (Connection->SSH->Auth).
    Oh, you manually configured PuTTY to connect with your private key. It is more typical to use an authentication agent to load private keys. The PuTTY suite provides such a utility, named Pageant.

    Quote Originally Posted by sneakyimp
    I had done this while trying to use FileZilla and am unclear on how FileZilla is supposed to make use of this connection that has been established in an entirely different program.
    Basically, you run Pageant and load your private key file, entering your passphrase as needed. Then you connect via FileZilla (or PuTTY, as the case may be).

    In other news, I just noticed that PuTTY 0.61 has finally been released. Four years. Wow!
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    To add to this, though I should point out that laserlight is way more qualified than me and frequently answers my questions here...

    I use Pageant too, with Total Commander (which is free to try and very cheap to buy), which supports Pageant as an authentication agent. You have to install a couple of plugins but it's relatively easy to do.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dagon's Avatar
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    winSCP, sounds like it may be what your after, i use it every day you can log in to the remote site, tell it to watch a local directory and sub dirs and it will upload any file when it changes instantly.

    I just set it to the site I am working on in the morning and leave it the background all day.

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