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What FTP client should I use on Linux?

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By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 14 Apr 2005
 

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When working on any platform, it's nice to have a good FTP client handy. Linux has no shortage in this arena. For KDE, a great FTP client is KBear. It has a lot to offer, including a generous amount of functionality. One can also customize the application's interface in a variety of ways. Let's take a look.

This guide was created on a system running KDE 3.4 on SUSE Linux 9.3 Professional, using KBear 2.1.1-49.

If KBear isn't installed already, let's install it now.

Open YAST. Click on INSTALL AND REMOVE SOFTWARE on the right. When the next window comes up, type kbear into the SEARCH box, and click SEARCH. When the result comes up on the right, click in the box to install the package. Then, click on ACCEPT to perform the installation.

The first time you run KBear, it takes you through a setup wizard. This is designed to allow you to customize things such as firewall settings, layout preferences, and window settings, among others.

The "View Settings" screen of the wizard:

If there is an option that doesn't make sense at first, KBear has a built-in help system. Simply click the question mark in the upper-right corner of the window. Then click the option you wish to have clarified. A small pane appears with an explanation:

Once you finish the wizard, you are taken to the main window:

Synonymous with a bookmarking concept, KBear has an excellent Site Manager. This area of the application offers the ability to make shortcuts to your favorite FTP sites:

It offers the ability to import, create, delete, and customize each of the sites in the list. One can also create groups of sites.

I found the documentation for KBear to be very insightful and helpful. It will help answer questions and clarify features. Every option of every menu can be found in the docs. Great documentation usually includes some form of quick start guide, which KBear also does:

A feature that caught me by pleasant surprise is the Synchronizing Tool. In short, the concept is that it will synchronize a local directory with a remote one. This is great for web developers:

If I have an application that will be open for long periods of time, I like for it to minimize to the system tray rather than to the taskbar. Though icing on the cake, this feature is found in KBear. Also in the taskbar is a small KBear Sitemanager daemon.

When the need arises for an FTP client, give KBear a try. It'll be worth your time. It has a whole lot of nice features and functionality, and the documentation is quite helpful.


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