The 5 Best FTP Clients for Linux

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is the most common method of transferring files between computers over a network. It is also the best option for moving large amounts of files back and forth to/from a server.

As such, depending on your operating system, you’ll find a variety of FTP clients to help you with the same, with each promising to provide better transfer and management features than the other while staying true to core functionality.

Here are some of the best FTP clients you can use right now.

FileZilla tops our list of the best FTP clients for Linux. It is open-source and comes with a user-friendly interface, making it easy to use even for new users.

In addition to FTP, which is the core of FileZilla, the program also supports FTPS (FTP over TLS) and SFTP (SSH over FTP) protocols along with various cloud storage services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage and more.

With FileZilla you can transfer large files (>4GB) without any problems. If necessary, you also have the option to resume the file transfer halfway through. As for other features, the program gives you access to remote file search, remote file editing, transfer queue and a powerful site manager to simplify file transfer and management even further.

How to install FileZilla

To install FileZilla on Ubuntu/Debian, run:

sudo apt install filezilla

On Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S filezilla

On Fedora/CentOS and RHEL:

sudo dnf install filezilla
sudo yum install filezilla

CrossFTP is another cross-platform FTP client for Linux. Like FileZilla, it offers the usual set of features such as fast search, multiple connections, and support for versatile protocols and cloud storage services, but also brings a few extra features.

One of those unique CrossFTP features is scheduling, which comes in handy if you need to move items later. Likewise, you also get a speed limiter to limit bandwidth consumption during file transfers. So, for example, if you’re doing multiple tasks and don’t want CrossFTP to eat up your entire bandwidth, you can use the limiter to limit bandwidth usage.

Speaking of CrossFTP’s biggest highlights, the program uses what it calls a turbo engine, which is essentially a transfer engine that promises to facilitate faster file transfers. And it also offers client-side encryption using the AES algorithm to protect your data in transit.

Related: How Does Encryption Work? Is encryption really secure?

CrossFTP Setup

To install CrossFTP on Debian based distributions such as Ubuntu, first visit the link below and download the appropriate CrossFTP package.

Once downloaded, open the terminal and navigate to the folder where you saved the file.

To download: CrossFTP

Finally, run the following command to install the DEB package on your system:

sudo dpkg -i ./crossftp_deb_package.deb

On Arch Linux you can download the package from the AUR with yay:

yay -S crossftp-client

gFTP is a free and open source FTP client for Linux. It provides both a GUI (based on the GTK+ toolkit) and a CLI, which you can use based on your preference. In addition to FTP, the tool also includes support for FTPS, SFTP, FSP and FXP protocols for a wider range of use.

When it comes to usability, gFTP offers quite a simple and user-friendly interface to simplify file operations. You can easily connect to remote sites and transfer files quite quickly without any hiccups. A nice addition to the program is the message log that informs you about any errors encountered while sending files so that you can act on them.

Other interesting features that gFTP offers include support for Unix, macOS, VMS, MVS, and NT (DOS) style directory listings and the bookmark feature to quickly connect to remote sites.

How to install gFTP

Run the following command to install gFTP on Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo apt install gftp

On Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S gftp

On Fedora/CentOS and RHEL:

sudo dnf install gftp
sudo yum install gftp

lftp is a CLI-based FTP client for Linux. Compared to some of the other FTP client programs on this list, which are GUI based, lftp emerges as a sleek and faster program for those who prefer to use the command line.

In terms of functionality, lftp offers pretty much a similar set of features to others, with support for several file access methods including FTPS, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, and HFTP, in addition to the BitTorrent protocol, making it a versatile file transfer tool. Of course, being a CLI tool, you can enjoy the benefits of commands, which in the case of lftp are sufficient and allow you to perform a large number of tasks efficiently.

If you accidentally close the program at any point while transferring files using lftp, it will cause it to move itself to nohup mode to complete the transfer in the background. Likewise, if the download stops halfway through, the program will automatically restart from the point where it was stopped.

lftp installation

On Debian/Ubuntu, run the command below to install lftp:

sudo apt install lftp

On Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S lftp

On Fedora/CentOS and RHEL:

sudo dnf install lftp
sudo yum install lftp

Konqueror is more than your regular FTP client: it’s a swiss knife for all kinds of file management and file preview operations, including transferring files between systems via FTP (and SFTP) protocols. So by installing it on your system, you get two programs in one.

With the functionality of both programs in one, you can also use Konqueror to browse and edit files on the connected server/computer with ease. Most such functionalities are part of KIO plugins, so you can choose from a selection of these plugins to extend the capabilities of the program.

As for other FTP functions, Konqueror offers pause/resume, segmented file transfer (download from multiple servers) to speed up the download time, and download from BitTorrent resources.

How do I install Konqueror

To install Konqueror on Debian/Ubuntu, run:

sudo apt install konqueror

On Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S konqueror

On Fedora/CentOS and RHEL:

sudo dnf install konqueror
sudo yum install konqueror

Finding the Right FTP Client for Your Needs

Using this list, you should be able to choose the right FTP client for your Linux system that meets your criteria and meets your requirements.

While each program’s feature set is a subjective preference and attracts different types of users in different ways, there are a few aspects that you should always consider when choosing an FTP client.

One such important aspect is the protocol that is used. To make sure all your data transfers (and server logins) are done securely, you should always use SFTP as it uses encryption to encrypt both data. You can also check out other file transfer methods to learn about different ways to transfer files.

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