Well I wanted to get Caitlin’s blog up and running. Then it hit me I had to allow her to edit her blog without the command line. Sure it is easy getting the Linux box to talk to the Mac Apple Fileshare, but how to get the Mac to work with the Linux box? She can do remote control with Chicken Of The VNC but what about file transfer? I’ve stopped using FTP in 2001 when the wu-ftpd bug turned a whole bunch of my company boxes into DDoS zombies. Besides, the password is unencrypted. And I am tired of going through the Apache configuration file hoops in order to set up WebDAV again.
What to do?
Back in 2001, there was this crappy NeXT port known as RBrowser which would make SSH calls to emulate a FTPd. But RBrowser was un-maclike, hard to use, quirky and went shareware. I stopped using it by 2002.
The idea was there so I looked into the SFTP thing I heard about… and it’s exactly the same thing. Wrap SSH commands to emulate an encrypted SSH session with OpenSSH FTP. So I downloaded my favorite SFTP client from a couple years ago: Fugu. It worked like a charm: encrypted file transfer, drag and drop, directory upload support, everything she needs to directly modify her website. And 100% free thanks to the University of Michigan.
Except some system administrators, nobody ever heard about Fugu. What are the rest of us using? After a slight net search it appears the SFTP client-du-jour is Cyberduck. It does FTP in addition to SFTP through the same interface, drag-and-drop, transfer queue, file moving, public/private key authentication, resumeable uploads/downloads, unix permission modification and takes advantage of nearly every cool Cocoa trick in the book: Keychain for password storing, Rendezvous to browse the local network, AppleScript for automation, external editor integration, etc. Did I mention that it is free too?
Here is a great screenshot (hopefully this eye candy which is fairly typical of Mac OS X will make you want to go buy a Mac):
One nice little feature I wish I could show is its Growl integration. It’d be even better if the Growl folks ever bundled a new release so I can put the bezel on the bottom. But that’s another story.
Looks like it’s the rubber ducky for me and Caitlin. You make file transfers so much fun!
(P.S. Growl? Fugu? Cyberduck? Chicken of the VNC? Don’t you love open source Mac software names? I’m so glad Apple switched to a Unix!)