5 SFTP Clients for Linux

Last time, I talked about FTP servers that run on Linux. Incidentally, some of those servers also support SFTP, which is really good because, with all the threats on the Internet, you would want to send your files in the most secure way possible. SFTP encrypts the data on those files, thus preventing eavesdroppers from obtaining any information during transmission. But before you can send files using SFTP, you would need an SFTP client. Here are 5 that run on Linux. 


This is a Java-based platform-independent, multi-protocol client. It supports not only SFTP, but also FTP, FPTS, WebDAV and a host of other protocols. It even supports a proprietary file transfer protocol called AFTP (Accelerated File Transfer Protocol), which speeds up file transfers in high latency networks. AnyClient is totally FREE. And like most clients on this list, it sports a GUI.


CrossFTP also runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. Unfortunately, SFTP support is only available in the PRO edition of the software. The PRO edition also supports Local Encryption, which encrypts files before they are sent. 


Unlike the first two SFTP clients on this list, cURL is a command-line client. Meaning, you need to be familiar with the commands it supports. cURL derives its name from the way users send or get files - they use URLs. Because of this, cURL features a wide range of Internet protocols (in addition to SFTP), including HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, TFTP, and many others. Here's how cURL looks like:


I'm sure many of you prefer clients that allow you to transfer files through point-and-click actions, so here is another another SFTP client with a graphical user interface. FileZilla runs on Windows, Mac, BSD, Linux, and Unix. It also supports multiple file transfer protocols.


Last but not the least is FireFTP, another graphical file transfer client. FireFTP actually runs on Mozilla Firefox as an add-on. Because Firefox is supported in practically all operating systems, FireFTP can likewise run on those. 

Now that you know which file transfer clients support SFTP, I suggest you make it a point to use it when sending confidential information. 

5 FTP Servers That Run on Linux

It's always more convenient to use FTP when sending large files over the Internet. Unlike email attachments, FTP file transfers do not impose file size restrictions. Furthermore, it's possible to select multiple files or entire directories and send them all in one go.

In this post, I'll be featuring 5 FTP server applications that you can install on your Linux machine. Here they are:

1. Filezilla - This is an open source application that runs on multiple platforms. As of this writing, Filezilla not only supports FTP, it also supports secure file transfer protocols, particularly: FTPS and SFTP. Having the option to use secure file transfer protocols can be a huge benefit for organizations operating in heavily regulated industries.

2. JSCAPE MFT Server - This is a proprietary solution. However, it does have a free edition. Strictly speaking, JSCAPE MFT Server is classified as a managed file transfer server. Meaning, it supports a wide range of file transfer protocols (many of which are secure) and enterprise-class file transfer functionalities such as server to server file transfer, DLP, auto virus scanning, password policy enforcement, and others.

3. CrushFTP - Another proprietary solution, CrushFTP is also capable of supporting multiple file transfer protocols and (like JSCAPE MFT Server) can run on various platforms like Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

4. ProFTPD - This is another open source solution. ProFTPD is basically a terminal based application but many third parties have developed GUIs (graphical user interfaces) for it. It is built for Unix-based platforms and hence can also run on AIX, OpenBSD, and Mac OS X.

5. Pure-FTPd and vsftpd - These two are usually the default FTP installations that come with popular Linux distributions. Both are primarily terminal based.

To send a file using FTP, you would need an FTP client. You use the client to connect to the server and navigate through the server's directories (only those you are authorized to access). You also use it to upload and download files.

If you don't know how to send files via FTP, don't worry. It's easy. Here's a simple How-To guide: How To FTP a File.

What is today's most popular linux distribution?

Linux distributions are operating systems that are based on the Linux kernel. With this simplified definition in mind, then perhaps the most popular Linux distribution is Android, the leading smartphone OS in the US, which (as of August 2010) holds a market share of 33%.

Android 2.2 (codename Froyo) is based on Linux kernel 2.6.32, while soon-to-be-launched Android 2.3 (codename Gingerbread) is based on Linux kernel 2.6.33. But is it really the most popular Linux distribution? We head out to Distrowatch.com and see where it stands.

Distrowatch, which ranks the popularity of Linux distributions based on page hits, does not include Android on its list. The top 10 Linux distributions there, as of this writing and with data based on the last 6 months, are:

1. Ubuntu
2. Fedora
3. Mint
4. OpenSUSE
5. Debian
6. PCLinuxOS
7. Mandriva
8. Sabayon
9. Arch
10. Puppy

Now, these are desktop operating systems, which explains why Android is nowhere to be found. Since I’d really like to find out where Andoid stands among other Linux distros in terms of popularity, I’ve decided to consult Google about it. For this simple exercise, we’ll now head out to Google Trends, enter Android and the top 10 distros found in Distrowatch and see what happens.

Here’s what we got. The first Google Trends graph is based on data taken across all regions and since the first recorded data until today. The second graph, on the other hand, is based on all regions and over the last 12 months. 

Google Trends Most Popular Linux Distribution (all years)
Google Trends most popular Linux distribution (12 mos)

Based on Google searches, Ubuntu has been consistently on top since the second quarter of 2006. Android started its run in early 2009 (that’s only last year) and proceeded with a steep ascent early this year, overtaking Ubuntu in the process.

So there you have it. Based on searches alone, the most popular Linux distribution as of this day is Android.

Related posts:

One Android to rule them all
Why Android for 2010

Books related to this post:

Touch Screen Sony Reader

Want to go on an ebook-reading marathon for two weeks? You don’t need an iPad. All you need is a decent touch screen ebook reader. They can last more than 10 days (not just 10 hours) and, thanks to e-ink technology, so will your eyes.

E-ink displays, which most of these ebook readers use, consume less power, are less susceptible to glare, are less strenuous to the eyes, and most of all, cost much less than even the most basic iPad.

Now, why did I have to zoom in on touchscreen versions of these handheld devices? That would certainly leave the numero uno ebook reader on the market today - Amazon’s Kindle - out of the picture.  Because I find clicking buttons so outdated and flicking through virtual pages with fingers so cool.

And thanks to innovative technologies like the zForce touch screen, a fast touch interface on an e-ink display is now possible.

You know what else most of them have in common aside from the e-ink display? - a Linux-based OS.

Onyx’s Boox 60, iRex’s Digital Reader 800, Condor’s eGriver Touch, Spring Design’s Alex, and, most likely, Sony’s Readers - all these touch screen ebook readers, which are all slated for release no later than this year, run on Linux.

Even their earliest predecessors, which were launched some time in the middle of this decade, were powered by some kind of embedded Linux. Many of the later generations actually ran on Android, just like all those smartphones, but, as we all know, that OS also has Linux origins.  

I’m not 100% sure about the latest Sony Readers, but their immediate predecessors used to run on Monta Vista Linux. Still, even without them, more than half of touch screen ebook readers use a Linux OS. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_readers)

Preparing Eclipse for Android Installation on a 32-bit Windows XP

If you’re new to Android programming, it would be best to start with the Eclipse IDE. This article will show you how to prepare a freshly installed Eclipse for Android development on a 32-bit Windows XP system. 

You can still develop Android on other IDEs like Netbeans or IntelliJ, but Eclipse is still the easiest route to take. Ready? Let’s start. 

1. Install the JDK

Since you'll be using the Java programming language to develop apps on the Android platform, you'll need to have Java installed in your system. Go to the Java SE downloads page and download the JDK. 

Java SE Downloads page

After clicking that large button, another page will load. On that page, select the Windows Platform from the drop-down list and click the download button.

Once your download is complete launch the JDK installer by double-clicking on the downloaded file. This action should launch this screen.

JDK installer

Wait until the Next button is active, then click it. Just click on the Next buttons that appear in all succeeding screens until you reach the screen with the Finish button. Click the Finish button to wrap up the JDK installation.

2. Install the Eclipse IDE

You should now be ready to install Eclipse on your system. Go to the Eclipse downloads page and download the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers.

Eclipse downloads page

I had some trouble downloading through the mirrors. In the end, I was successful with the torrent file. 

The downloaded file is a .zip, so you need to extract it first. Look for the file named eclipse and double-click it to start the installation proper.

Wait until you're shown the following screen.

Choose a folder in your hard disk where you'll want to store your projects/apps or click Ok to accept the default Workspace location. Also click Ok when you're done choosing your desired Workspace.

That action should activate the final processes to complete the installation. When the installation is finished, the Eclipse user interface will automatically pop-up.

Here's a screenshot of it.

Eclipse User Interface

There, your system is now capable of running the JDK and Eclipse. For Android installation, come back for my next post.

Chrome OS In Q4 - Is It Time to Bid External Storage Goodbye?

When Chrome OS devices hit the stores late this year, users may have to start getting used to a web-centric mindset. Practically everything on their device will be running on the cloud. And with easily accessible Google Docs already accepting up to 1 GB storage for ANY kind of file, it would be difficult to resist storing and moving more files to the cloud as well. 

So does this mean you’d have to say goodbye to local drive storage or even your trusty USB flash drive? 

Ever since the introduction of the floppy disk, external storage devices like USB flash drives have proven to be an indispensable partner of every regular computer user. Students carry in them their homework, mp3 songs, and ebooks; accountants and salesmen have their spreadsheets, business letters and reports; IT personnel have their program codes, installers and experimental OSes; and so on. 

External storage devices enable people to exchange files quickly, keep backup copies, hold their most confidential information close to themselves, or (for the Linux geeks) carry a fully functional operating system. These extremely portable tiny devices allow users to be more mobile and able to work away from their main computer. 

If you have a USB flash drive (a.k.a. pen drive) and only need the most commonly used applications like MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you can easily set down to work in almost any establishment that has a computer. Of course, I find it difficult to imagine any regular computer user possessing only a USB flash drive. Besides, they’d have to pay for computer usage each time they need one, which would certainly be very expensive.

In most cases, users do have their own computers and these devices are mainly used for sharing files with colleagues, business associates, and friends. Today’s highly mobile computer users (a.k.a. road warriors) usually have three gadgets with them: a laptop, a cell phone, and a USB flash drive - all other laptop accessories are secondary.

As for tomorrow’s road warriors, that’s what I’m curious about. With cloud computing and online storage, things could be different. Will the number of main gadgets be reduced to two?

i.e., a Chrome OS laptop and a cellphone?

If you’ve tried working with Google Docs, you know that file sharing is as simple as 1-2-3. You click the Share button, Invite people, specify the email address of the person you’d like to share your file with, and click Send. That’s actually 4 steps, but you get the picture. 

Excited to move your files to the cloud already? You might have to hold your horses first. If you ask me, Google and other cloud services providers have yet to provide much better assurance as with regards to one major issue: security. You’d only need to look back a few months to see where I’m coming from. 

Chinese hackers attack on GMail, Google’s own webmail service. Does that ring a bell? 

Once people start the exodus of files to Google Docs, the thrill of hacking into those accounts would be very irresistible. 

So should future Chrome OS users bid goodbye to their trusty USB flash drive? I don’t think so ... well, at least not yet. Store files on the cloud, but leave the most confidential ones in your internal or external storage devices.