How to Transfer Files to Droplets With FileZilla

You can transfer files from a local computer to a Droplet using a variety of different protocols and file transfer clients. We recommend using SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) with FileZilla because it is a free, open source, cross-platform tool with a user interface that supports newer users. If you’re comfortable using the command line, you can also use tools like rsync and OpenSSH’s sftp and scp. This tutorial will walk you through the initial installation of FileZilla and how to transfer files to your Droplet using an SSH connection.

For security, we recommend using SSH keys with SFTP. If you aren’t already using SSH keys to connect to your Droplet, set them up using How-to Add SSH Keys to New or Existing Droplets.

Install FileZilla

On the machine from which you want to transfer files, download and install FileZilla. Choose the version for your operating system.

On Debian-based Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, you can alternatively install FileZilla using the APT package manager:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install filezilla

Configure FileZilla

After you install FileZilla, you need to configure it to connect to the Droplet.

Open FileZilla and then click Settings in the Edit drop-down menu.

In the Connection section, click SFTP. This is where you add your Droplet’s private SSH key. Click Add key file…, then locate your Droplet’s private SSH key on your local machine. If FileZilla prompts you to convert the file into a supported format, click Yes.

Settings menu

After you add the SSH key, open the File drop-down menu and click Site Manager. The site manager lets you add, remove, and manage servers and devices that you want to connect to using FileZilla.

Click New Site and enter the name of the Droplet. In the protocol field, select SFTP from the drop-down menu. In the port field, enter the port you use to connect to the Droplet (port 22 is the default). Lastly, in the Logon Type field, select Interactive.

New site menu

Once you have entered your settings, click Connect. The status field in the top window displays the status of the connection.

Note
If you receive the error Disconnected: No supported authentication methods available (server sent: publickey), the Droplet could not locate the correct private SSH key file to authorize access for your local machine. For information on how to troubleshoot your SSH keys, see How and When to Troubleshoot SSH Issues.

Transfer Files with FileZilla

Once connected to the Droplet, use the Local site windows to navigate the directories of your local machine and locate the files you want to upload. Right-click the file you want to transfer to the Droplet, then click Upload.

File transfer window

To transfer files from the Droplet to your local machine, use the Remote site windows to navigate the directories of your Droplet and locate the files you want to download to your local machine. Right-click the file you want to transfer from the Droplet, then click Download.