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In Windows I use WinSCP to transfer files server-side. It has a very attractive feature that I like best: keeping remote folders up to date.

This means, whenever my local file is changed, WinScp will replace the same file on the server with this new file.

Could you suggest me software that support this feature?

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13 Answers 13

up vote 67 down vote accepted

Nautilus the default file browser has the feature of mounting remote files.

Go to File Menu > Connect to Server..

enter image description here

Other than that filezilla and gftp support sftp.

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caja has this too! – j0h Feb 22 '14 at 0:11
but does help me to access files/folders as a sudo user. Is there any way to use sudo with Nautilius? – user01 Mar 13 '14 at 5:58
Just do gksu nautilus to run nautilus as sudo user – sagarchalise Mar 13 '14 at 8:01
Nemo (default on Mint) supports this too (go to sftp://<user>@<host>) – personne3000 Aug 27 '14 at 6:21
On your file-system these magic sftp://... links are stored in: /run/user/1000/gvfs/sftp* (Of course your user id and sftp folder name will vary). – ThorSummoner Jul 21 '15 at 18:08

You could also use sshfs or rsync.

sshfs mounts your remote directory locally over ssh very similar to WinSCP and Nautilus.

The potential advantage of sshfs is that you can map users

sshfs -o idmap=server_user user@server:/directory ~/remote_directory

To automate the process, add an entry in fstab

sshfs#user@server:/directory /home/your_local_user/directory fuse idmap=user 0 0

See Ubuntu Wiki SSHFS

rsync will also sync files / directories and will work over ssh and has a graphical front end, grsync

See Ubuntu wiki rsync

Last you can edit remote files with vim (if you are interested)

vim scp://user@server//path_to/file_to_edit
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Thank you very much indeed – Summer Nguyen Jan 12 '12 at 3:26
It's grsync and thanks. – kadaj Jul 28 '14 at 4:45
Thanks, best answer in my opinion – CentAu Jun 30 '15 at 16:20

Since you are familiar with Winscp on Windows, I suggest that you try filezilla

FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.

Install filezilla

You can also install with the command line. Open terminal Ctrl+Alt+T and run following command:

sudo apt-get install filezilla

Or search on Filezilla in Ubuntu Software Center.

When you add a host, be sure to change from FTP to SFTP, and change the port number to ssh port 22 (or other custom ssh port if different)

Make the account type interactive.


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Unfortunately, filezilla still does not support ssh keys with passwords. – heroin Dec 17 '15 at 18:48

You want "scp". The original scp :-)

Oops, I spoke too soon... you have requirement of syncing as well. In that case, rsync.

However, scp is still good for scripts and automation.

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I think someone using winscp would not be as excited to use scp in the command line. And one of the features one looks for in a gui sftp client is management of the different sessions one could use. – viyyer Jan 11 '12 at 18:51
@viyyer, yes you're right. – Angelo Jan 11 '12 at 18:54

You can still use winscp under wine. I am doing the same, and it works very good.

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There are many different tools which would give a similar experience as winscp. I use filezilla for transferring files across ssh.

Nautilus as mentioned by @sagarchalise allows for connecting to server.

One of the things I use more often these days to access sftp is sshfs. I find it very convenient as it mounts the files as local file in the filesystem and transparently updates it on the remote server.

sshfs username@remotehostname.tld:/path/to/remote/files /path/to/local/mountpoint/

It lets me use all my usual tools assuming these file are local files.

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Open Nautilus and type (in the link bar): sftp://user@server/


Open Konqueror and type (in the link bar): fish://user@server/


Open Thunar and type (in the link bar): sftp://user@server/

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You can also try unison to help synchronize the two folders

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Looks like unison needs a client on the remote server too? :( – ThorSummoner Jul 21 '15 at 17:43

A very nice and powerful program, built over the rsync protocol, is Unison.

enter image description here

It has a very nice interface, and the client is available for at least Linux (more or less all variants) and Windows. The basic behavior is very easy to grasp, with a graphic interface and easy configuration, and if you need to do more complex things, you can manually edit the configuration files and/or script it.

It has been my backup/mirroring/uploading utility in the last five year at least, and never saw a bug or missed a file.

You can install it with

 sudo apt-get install unison-gtk 

and for a smooth behavior, you should have configured a working connection with your endpoint (I normally use ssh connections).

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I recommend PCManFM sudo apt-get install pcmanfm

Just another File Manager but features a mini GUI for connections (in main menu Go --> Connect to server) and there you go. You can bookmark your connections and you can just right click files and chose "open with...".

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Not only PCManFM, but most File Managers support it: Nautilus, Nemo, Caja, Dolphin at least do. – the_Seppi Sep 22 '14 at 20:08

I'd suggest SecPanel especially if you're using 13.10.

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To run WinSCP under Linux (Ubuntu 12.04), follow these steps:

1) sudo apt-get install wine (run this one time only, to get 'wine' in your system, if you haven't it)

2) download ""

3) make a folder and put the content of zip file in this folder

4) open a terminal

5) type sudo su

6) type wine WinSCP.exe

Done! WinSCP will run like in Windows environment!

Best regards.

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Why run wine as super user? Don't do that. Skip step 5. – Eric Carvalho Apr 19 '14 at 0:24

I found one good standalone alternative, free, opensource, mucommander, but java based, your system need to have jvm to run it.

Why I went for mucommander (I am using RHEL6 with ristrictions)?
1st I tried to connect with nautilus, but it failed to connect.
2nd I tried to use various s/w like filezilla, Unison , but nothing was standalone, and faced many compilation and rights issue.

Ulitmately mucommander saved me.

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