FileZilla SSH Keys (SFTP)

1 minute read

If you have a server with SSH/SFTP that’s accessible from the internet it’s a good idea to disable password authentication and use SSH Keys instead. This is much more secure than password authentication as it takes much more time to crack them (in fact it takes so much time that it wouldn’t even be worth trying it).

But, what if you want to quickly upload or download some files from your server?


If you SSH to your server using OpenSSH, it will set the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment variable and FileZilla will use this to connect to your server.

All you need in this case is to set the following fields and hit Quickconnect:

  • Host
  • Username

Note: obviously you have to SSH to the same server you want to make a SFTP connection to.

Note: if this method doesn’t work for some reason you can use the same method as Windows users below.


You can import you private key into FileZilla:

  • Click on Edit > Settings...
  • Go to Connection > SFTP
  • Click on Add keyfile...
  • Browse to your private key file and open it
    Note: FileZilla only supports private keys in Putty format. However, if you have a private key in OpenSSH format, FileZilla will convert it for you.
  • Click on OK

Now you can connect to all SFTP servers that accept this private key by just setting the following fields and hit Quickconnect:

  • Host
  • Username

That’s all.

Source: FileZilla wiki.


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