Filezilla is a graphical FTP client that can manage one or many servers including the required login data. Although the input fields below the toolbar can be used to start a connection, it is preferable to configure each FTP connection once in the powerful server manager and then quickly access it from the server list in the future. The open source program, which is also available for Windows and OS-X, can also remember the password. While this is an easy solution for forgetful people, everybody with access to the program can export the site manager entries using the Export menu entry and view the stored passwords in the resulting XML export file.
Once the connection has been successfully established, FileZilla displays the typical two-window layout: the local file system on the left, the remote file system on the right. Files or folders can be transferred to the other side by double-clicking; if the resource already exists there, it asks whether and under what conditions it should be overwritten and remembers this rule for further cases if desired.
So far, so good. FileZilla shows its strengths when it comes to updating the remote files. It enables synchronized navigation between the local copy and the remote server: if you click on a subdirectory in the local window to open it, this directory will also be entered on the remote server, as long as it exists there. This behaviour can be configured individually for each FTP server in the advanced settings of the server manager.
FileZilla can color-code different files/folders; in the menu entry View > Directory Comparison one can configure whether the time of the last change or the file size is compared. Green stands for newer files, red for different files, and yellow for files missing on the other side.
A filter function, which can also be accessed via the View menu, can be used to filter files or directories out of the display by name, size, date and/or attributes.
When communicating with an FTP server, an encrypted connection is of course preferable. FileZilla supports explicit and implicit FTP via TLS as well as SFTP, while login via SSH with key file and passphrase is also possible.
The FileZilla project also provides an FTP server as well as a Windows-only paid pro version of the client for Windows and Os-X, which additionally supports various cloud providers.
Storage and Backup
Filezilla stores all settings and bookmarks to the location $HOME/.config/filezilla/. It is sufficiant to backup this directory. Moreover, the main menu has an Export entry.
Help and Documentation
The program’s help menu entry points to a very basic online documentation, which is available in English only.
How to install FileZilla
FileZilla is in Ubuntu’s Universe repository and may be easily installed from there:
sudo apt update && sudo apt install filezilla
Ubuntu users looking for the freshest software – the upgrade frequenzy of FileZilla is high – are in the dark as long as they are not afraid to compile the program themselves. The Filezilla Project publishes new versions on their website only as builds for Debian Stable, which may be downloaded on their website. However, these are no deb-packages. On Flathub fresh packages seem to be published on a regular basis. Since Ubuntu has no build in support for Flatpaks, this must be cared for first.