How to Use Nautilus As a FTP Client

This is a guest post by Abhilash Kumar

nautilus-ftpIf you have a website of your own, you would be fairly used to using various FTP clients to transfer files to and from your hosting space. I personally use Filezilla for this activity. What I do not like about most FTP clients is the interface and the number of sections that are there in front of a user. While the designers are trying to show all that is happening in the background when you transfer a file to a remote server, this transperancy is not always required.

At times like these, I like to switch over to an interface that is familiar and uncluttered. Nautilus, the file manager for the Gnome desktop can also be used as an FTP client without having to install any additional software to your system. Nautilus provides an easy way to connect and exchange files via FTP and makes the process as simple as a copy paste that you may be doing day in and day out.

Getting started with Nauitlus is easy. The File menu provides the option to “Connect to Server”. The connection dialog provides the options to establish various types of connections like Public FTP, FTP with Login, SSH, Windows Share and a few others. For a normal hosted acocunt you would probably have a FTP login which you would have provided to your FTP client.

nautilus- connect-menu

Choosing the option of FTP (with login) allows you to specify your Server, Port, Start Folder and User Name to connect to the server. There are no cryptic fileds and you can also add this connection information as a bookmark in Nautilus so that you dont have to enter this information the next time. The bookmark will appear under the Bookmarks menu in Nautilus.


The connection is established as soon as you click on Connect after entering your password. You can also specify the validity of your session by choosing to let the system remember your password.


Your default directory is shown in the normal Nautilus file browsing window. All the actions like Copy, Cut, Paste can be carried out the same way as you have been doing them on your machine locally. The benefit of using Nautilus as your FTP client is that you can use the Tabbed Browsing feature of Nautilus even while working on your remote server. This allows you to browse multiple sections of your server and carry out file operations in each section simultaneously. Which is a functionality that I miss in normal FTP clients like Filezilla.


The performance provided by Nautilus is as good as any FTP client in terms of speed of browsing the remote server. The added benefits of tabbed browsing and a clean and familiar interface are a bonus that you will enjoy.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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