• Using Cyberduck for FTP on Mac
  • Using Cyberduck for FTP on Mac
    Written by battye
    Sun Jul 18, 2010 7:06 am
     


    Cyberduck is fantastic free app for Macintosh. Since my switch from Windows XP in late 2007 I've used Cyberduck for all my FTP needs, and when maintaining websites this means very often!

    Once you download the dmg file from the Cyberduck website at http://cyberduck.ch/, open it and drag the Cyberduck icon (with the yellow duck) into your Applications folder. You can then eject Cyberduck under the devices tab in Finder, and open Cyberduck by double clicking the icon in Applications.

    The first screen you see will look like this:

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    To log in, click the "Open connection" button in the top left.

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    Once you have logged in, Cyberduck is very simple to use. If you already have files and directories on your FTP server, then these will be visible to you. You can enter a directory by double clicking it, or if you want to see quickly what is in there you can click the arrow to the left of the directory name to expand it in the current screen.

    Suppose you wanted to create a directory called "test" to upload some files into. Simply right click a blank area of the window to bring up the right click menu, then select "New Folder" and type in your desired directory name.

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    Then in your Finder window, find the file (or files - select multiple files by using Command+click) you wish to upload and simply drag it into the Cyberduck window (if you expanded a directory rather than entered it, make sure to drop the file on top of the actual directory name to ensure it doesn't end up somewhere else!).

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    If you want to download files from the FTP server, it is almost the reverse procedure of uploading files. Simply find the files you want to download to your computer in the Cyberduck window and drag them into your desired location (in a Finder window).

    For files already on the server, there is a handy "edit" feature in Cyberduck. If you select a file in the Cyberduck window and then click the "edit" button, it will open locally in the most appropriate application (ie. mp3 files in iTunes, text files in your selected text editor - in my case Taco HTML Edit).

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    Sometimes it will ask you to confirm that you want to open the file, if you trust the source then click Open.

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    Once you have finished making the edits, if required, clicking save inside the local application and this will automatically upload the changes back to the FTP server. Extremely handy if you want to make a quick edit!

    Finally, if you wish to delete a file from the FTP server, simply right click that file (or files, using the same method mentioned earlier) and select "Delete". This also works for directories.

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    You will see a confirmation message to give you a chance to stop the action if you have made a mistake (such as selecting the wrong file).

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    One of my favourite features of Cyberduck is "Copy URL", by right clicking a file and selecting this button it copies the FTP location of the selected file to clipboard. I don't use it for the FTP location so much though, as by slighting modifying the link you can get the HTTP location which can then be posted publicly - which is nice if you want to post a link to a photo or text file especially.

    One other hint worth mentioning is how to improve performance. It may have since been fixed, but I regularly clear the transfer list now.

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    Some time ago, Cyberduck was extremely slow to perform simple actions like uploading and downloading files. I then realised that there was a memory leak in the Transfers window. With many hundreds of entries in there, somewhere in the code it was causing everything to run slowly (perhaps it was iterating through the entire list). So now, if the list is getting long I just clear everything in it (by holding down Command+A to highlight all entries, and then clicking the Remove button).

    Once you are finished with the FTP session, simply click Disconnect and exit the program!

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    I hope this article has been of some use to you. This is only a basic introduction to Cyberduck, the program is capable of doing quite a lot more. To find out more please look at the Cyberduck website at http://cyberduck.ch/
     
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