OIT Tech 32px
pagemasters' toolbox -- static pages

Using FileZilla to Upload Files from Windows or Macintosh



Unless you have a wide screen, the most efficient way to use this Web page may be to print it out for reference while you are following these steps, rather than flipping back and forth between windows.

If you have not changed your Ohio ID (formerly, "OAK login ID") password since October 1, 2007, then you must do so before you will be able to connect to the new static-page servers. Use the link near the top of http://www.ohio.edu/oit/services/myaccount.cfm.

The prerequisites to using FileZilla to transfer files is that you install and configure it with the correct preferences settings and that you be authorized to use the server in question.

There is a separate version of these instructions for people building personal sites on the people2 server; the following instructions cover all of OIT's static-page servers:


  1. If this is the first time you are using FileZilla, you may get a warning about an "unknown host key"; that is normal and you may choose to tell FileZilla to add the key to its database, so that you won't be distracted by that mesage the next time. The same notice and response on your part may also occur the first time you connect after a server software update.

  2. Specify the "Host" (shaded yellow in the screen-shot, below):

    for pages seen at www.ohio.edu/people/, specify host "people2.ohio.edu" (do not specify the host as "www.ohio.edu" or "www.ohiou.edu": those are different machines);

    for pages seen on the staging server, specify the host as "wws2.ohio.edu" (do not specify the host as "www.ohio.edu" or "www.ohiou.edu": those are different machines);

    for pages seen on the production server, specify the host as "ww2.ohio.edu" (do not specify the host as "www.ohio.edu" or "www.ohiou.edu": those are different machines).

  3. Specify the "Username" (shaded red, below) as your own Ohio ID (formerly called, "OAK login ID").

  4. Provide your own "Password" (shaded green, below).

  5. Specify the "Port" (shaded purple, below, between the Password and the "Quickconnect" button) as 22, as shown.

  6. The maroon and blue highlights encircle features that will be used in step 9, below.

  7. The orange highlights encircle features that will be used in step 12, below.

    The illustration below is for the Windows version of FileZilla; on Macintosh the menus are at the top of the screen, rather than the top of the FileZilla window, but the toolbar icons and their locations are quite similar.

    filezilla3 screenshot
  8. Press the "enter" or "return" key to complete the connection.

    If your computer displays a message that it has blocked an action of the application, click on the "unblock" button.

    You may observe that the Port field at the top is now empty, instead of showing the original "22," but the Host field has changed, for example, to "sftp://ww2.ohio.edu" or "sftp://wws2.ohio.edu"; this is normal.

  9. Observe the chatter in the upper window portion; in order to keep your connection alive while you think or do other things, FileZilla may from time to time send innocuous commands such as "PWD" ("Print Working Directory") or "REST" (if it uses one that our server does not implement, you may see an error message to that effect). This portion of the window will be used to display any error messages. Be especially alert for red text in this section (some is normal -- when uploading whole folders, it will report the absence of a folder in red, but then create it).

    If the server disconnects because of too long a time with no activity, click on the "Refresh" button (marked with the maroon highlight, above). This should revive the connection without having to re-navigate to the correct folder on the server.

    If that fails, then click on the "Disconnect" button on the toolbar (marked with the blue highlight, above; the "X," is red while connected), and then press the "enter" key or click on the "Quickconnect" button. You will then have to re-navigate to the correct folder on the server.

  10. When the FileZilla session window is displayed, maximize that window or use the mouse, dragging at the lower-right corner of the session window, to increase the space available for displaying file and directory names.

  11. Observe that the left side is your computer, the right side is the server, and on each side the directories are listed above the files. In addition, you will see both the directory and file listing and also, above that, a tree-structured list.

  12. Place your mouse over the boundary between the "Filename" and "Filesize" column headings for the Remote and Local Sites (circled with orange highlight, above). The mouse pointer will change to a double-sided arrow when it is directly over the boundary. Then, drag to the right to increase the amount of space on the screen used for the filename column. You can similarly adjust any of the other column widths as needed.

  13. Navigate with the mouse on the left side to get to the correct directory on your computer's disk drive:

    • Double-click on a directory to enter that directory.

    • Double-click on the folder with the "..", at the top, to go up to the parent directory of the one currently being displayed.

    • Double-click on a drive letter to change drives.

  14. When the connection is made, what you see and your next action both depend on which server you are using:

    • for people2.ohio.edu: you will see a list of all the folders for people with public pages in http://www.ohio.edu/people/.

      • If you want to work on your public pages, then scroll down, as needed, to find the folder whose name matches your Ohio ID; and double-click on that folder.

      • If you want to work on your secure pages, then

        • navigate "out" or "up" two levels (e.g., in the upper-right, click on the folder "people2.ohio.edu," which contains both the "public" and the "secure" folders);

        • open the "secure" folder;

        • open the "people" folder;

        • scroll down, as needed, to find the folder whose name matches your Ohio ID; and double-click on that folder.

    • for ww2 and wws2: you will see a list of all the other Front Door top-level (subsite) folders.

      If your pages are seen by the world with URLs that contain "www.ohio.edu" or "wws2.ohio.edu," then scroll down, as needed, to find your subsite's folder in the lower-right, and double-click on that folder.

    • If your pages are published by the static-page production server, but are seen by the world with URLs that do not contain "www.ohio.edu," then click on "WebDocumentFolders" in the upper-portion of the right side; in the lower portion of the right side, either double-click on the folder whose name matches your site or double-click on the folder with the ".." label at the top of the bottom-right portion of the FileZilla window, in order to navigate to other drives and folders, according to the information provided when you were authorized to work on those pages.

  15. Continue to navigate in your directories on the server on the right portion of the FileZilla window, with the usual Windows or Macintosh techniques, until you are looking at the files that are already in the directory where you want to place the new file. You should now be looking at the corresponding directories on both sides of the FileZilla session window.

  16. If either side is missing a subdirectory that the other side has, you can right-click on white space (not text or icons) in the directory and file listing area where it is missing, and choose "create directory" from the contextual menu that pops up.

  17. If FileZilla is configured correctly, it will choose correctly between binary and text file transfer modes for you, so you can leave the mode set to "Auto," in most cases.

  18. Click once on a file to be transferred, and then if any other files are to be transferred in the same direction, shift-click or control-click to select the entire group. There are two ways to transfer the files that you have selected:

    • Right-click on any of them and select "upload" to transfer from the PC to the server, or "download" to transfer from the server to the PC.

    • Click on one of the selected files, holding the click, and then drag the files to the other side. There was a bug in prior versions of FileZilla that interfered with at least some other activities after doing this; if FileZilla does not behave as expected after a drag-and-drop transfer, perform step 19, immediately below, and then start over.

    If you attempt to transfer a file that is bigger than your available free space, the server will refuse to accept the full file. On ww2, wws2, and people2, the part of the file that used up your available space will be left on the server, and FileZilla will display an error message, but it may well not be obvious that the lack of available space was the cause of the problem (we will update this paragraph as we learn more about the various error messages displayed in such cases). You will have to manually delete the file-fragment to prevent people wasting time downloading the useless file.

  19. When done transferring files, click the "Disconnect" button on the toolbar, choose "Exit" from the "File" menu, or just close the window.