My server keeps refusing my FTP connection.

September 5, 2014 5.6k views


I just (maybe like two hours ago now), purchased a $5/mo DO VPS. I selected Ubuntu with LEMP pre-installed on the image.

Now I changed my domain to point at the IP (and it works, I get the "welcome to Nginx" page if I go to the IP/Domain Name), but I'm having issues uploading files.

I open Filezilla, input the server IP, "root" as the username and my password. I select SFTP as the type of connection.

However, after a few seconds I get the following error message:

Error:  Authentication failed.
Error:  Critical error
Error:  Could not connect to server

Obviously this is really irritating as it basically means I can't upload any sites. If anyone could help me out that'd be great.

3 Answers

Hey Josh,

That sounds frustrating indeed! I couldn't reproduce your exact error message, but have a feeling your authentication is getting hung up because you're using the default root password. For security purposes, you must change your password as soon as you log in to your droplet. FileZilla doesn't provide that prompt, so you'll have to log in through SSH.

I'm using the web console, but you can do this inside your favorite SSH client (like PuTTY for Windows, or Terminal for Mac):

  1. Go to your DigitalOcean Dashboard
  2. Select your droplet
  3. Click the "Access" button
  4. Click on the blue "Console Access" button
  5. When prompted for hostname login: _, enter root
  6. When prompted for Password: _, enter your password
  7. Follow the prompts to change your password
  8. Go to FileZilla, and you should be able to login through SFTP & your new password

Let me know if that works for you, or if the error persists!


  • Thanks Derik this fixed the issue! Excellent support :)

  • Glad to hear it Josh!

    What ultimately got it going? I see it wasn't working at first when you tried it this morning.

  • Yeah. I don't know what happened, as yesterday I actually logged onto the console and was prompted to reset my password already, which I did.

    However I just went through the process again and it, for some reason, works correctly now! I'm really not sure why this worked though.

  • That's peculiar... Glad it's finally working though! Enjoy your new droplet, and welcome to DigitalOcean.

I'm having a similar issue - I went ahead & reset my password for the console, but it still gives me that error in filezilla.

same thing is hapening to me as sumant, additionally i can sometimes connect with fillezilla but 80-90% of my connection attempts fail, sometimes it works right after i restart the droplet

edit : similar experience of 80-90% failure with putty

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