How to handle SFTP clients after disabling root user


I recently setup my first droplet, I basically configured it following these two tutorials.

1- Server Setup

2- Additional Recommended

I have been SSHing from the terminal and everything works fine. Today I tried to use my FTP client (Transmit) and I realized that since I disabled the root user and because I’m using a user who requires the use of ‘sudo’ this wasn’t going to be possible and I was right, I cannot upload files to folder that outside my user folder.

How is this typically handled?

How can I use my FTP program to upload files to my server?

Do I need to enable the root user?

Can someone be so kind and give me some direction?


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You don’t need to activate root to do that.

In Transmit check these settings: Protocol: choose SFTP Server: your full domain name or IP user name: your sudo username (not root)

Port: only enter somthing here if you changed the default port 22 to something else

Once you start modifying files on your server via Transmit you may run into permission issues. If you do connect via SSH to your server and type this into the command line:

chown -R demouser. /var/www/html
  • change “demouser” to your name (keep the dot at the end)
  • change “/var/www/html” to whatever your folder structure is you need to change

Hi. For those of you, who is still facing the problem with Transmit working with encrypted keys. Maybe, before chowning on the server you’ll find it helpful just to put your passphrase (the local password you chose when encrypted the keys) to the password field of Transmit app. As Transmit app developer recommends here: If you’ve specified an encrypted key for use with this server in your config file, you can leave the key button alone and put the passphrase in Transmit’s password field.

Spent some time… Helped me a lot.

Sugarhill thanks for the additional input. Also, for work related large file transfers I’d take a look at Innorix DS.