Webmaster Stuff

Copy Filezilla Settings From One Computer To Another

Filezilla is my FTP client of choice. It is a free and open source FTP client that works on Windows, Linux and Mac it can be downloaded from here. Filezilla has many features, one of the nicest features is called “Site Manager” where it saves the server information along with your user name and password so that you can connect to it quickly. If your a webmaster with many websites and random passwords this is a definite time saver. If you are like me and a lot of other webmasters you have a regular computer and a laptop for the road. The tutorial will show you how to setup all your FTP accounts in Filezilla on one computer then copy the settings over to your other computer(s) so that you don’t have to reenter your details again.

Filezilla’s site explorer settings resides in your appdata folder on Windows, a hidden directory within your home directory on Linux, and your user’s library folder on OS X. This posts assumes your copying from settings Windows to another Windows machine as that’s what most people use. I will show you where the folder in on Ubuntu and OS X the file is the same on all platforms and can be copied between systems without issue.

UPDATE Sept 2016:

Starting a couple versions ago I noticed import/export functionality in Filezilla. Simply go to File > Export and select what you would like to export.  The most important is the Site Manager entries. On the target computer simply do File > Import. You may get a warning stating the the export was created using a newer version of Filezilla (especially going from Windows to Ubuntu), from what I can tell it’s safe to ignore this warning. The rest of the article tutorial still works too.

First things first, Open Filezilla and click open the Site Manager. Site manager is the leftmost icon, I’ve highlighted it in the screenshot below.

Filezilla Open
Filezilla Open

This is the Site Manager. Click “New Site”, name it and put in your host, select “Logontype” normal from the drop down and input your user name and password. Repeat for the rest of your sites. Connect to each account to make sure it works then close Filezilla.

Filezilla Open
Filezilla Open

Now Windows navigate to your appdata folder. For instructions on how find your app data folder click here (new window). This is your app data folder, open the Filezilla folder.

AppData Folder open
AppData Folder open

This is your Filezilla’s app data folder. Now you want to copy the sitemanager file to a thumb drive or perhaps email it to yourself.  Keep this file secure! The passwords are stored in plain text anyone can open the file in any text editor and view all your account information. As of a few versions ago Filezilla hashes passwords.  Alternatively you can copy the whole Filezilla folder to your thumb drive to save all the program’s settings.

Now you have the file and can place it in Filezilla’s app data folder on another Windows machine. Be sure to install and run Filezilla first on the second machine so that it create the Filezilla folder under appdata. Alternatively you can install Filezilla and don’t run it then if you copied the whole folder just drag and drop it to appdata.

Bingo! Your done. 🙂

Other operating systems:


UPDATE Sept 2016: 

Starting with Ubuntu 16.04 it appears Filezilla’s settings are now stored in ~/.config/filezilla. All other directions remain the same.

You can install Filezilla by running ‘sudo apt-get install filezilla’ without the quotes from terminal or clicking here on your Ubuntu system.

In Ubuntu Filezilla’s settings are stored in ~/.filezilla. This is a hidden folder (click to learn how to show hidden files in Ubuntu) in your home directory. If you copied the whole folder just drag the folder off your thumb drive  to your home folder and rename it to .filezilla then launch Filezilla and all your sites will be there. If you just copied the sitemanger.xml file. First launch Filezilla by going to Applications > Internet > Filezilla then close it. We launched it just to create the configuration folder. Copy sitemanager.xml to ~/.filezilla and relaunch all your sites will be there.

Filezilla's Setting Folder under Ubuntu
Filezilla’s Setting Folder under Ubuntu

Mac OS X:

Show hidden files by following this tutorial then copy sitemanager.xml to .filezilla in your home directory. Alternatively you can copy the Window’s folder from your thumb drive and rename it to .filezilla then drop it into your home folder.

Filezilla's config folder under OS X
Filezilla’s config folder under OS X

If you have any questions leave them in the comments please.


Edit 1/13: Here is a great post for learning how to sync your Filezilla profile across multiple computers:

Mac OS X

How To Show Hidden Files in OS X

In following the tutorials here at Almost Geek, you will often need to look at your systems hidden files for copy or move things around. OS X makes showing hidden files a chore, in fact I had to search for how to do it. I found this article on how to do it and that’s how I do it on my system.

Copy this command into Terminal* (new window click to find out where Terminal is):

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Then restart finder by typing this command into terminal:

killall Finder

When your done working with your hidden files and folders simply reverse the command to hide hidden files again.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

Once again restart Finder with the following command:

killall Finder

Here is what your home directory normally looks like:

Mac OS X Home Folder
Mac OS X Home Folder

Your home folder with hidden files shown:

OS X's Home Folder with Hidden Files Shown
OS X's Home Folder with Hidden Files Shown
Mac OS X

Where is the Terminal On my Mac?

As you follow along with our tutorials here you will sometimes need to use Mac OS X’s terminal which is the command line interface for your Mac it’s just like command prompt on Windows. You can find your terminal by opening your Applications Folder > Utilities > Terminal.

The terminal icon looks like this:

Mac OS X Terminal Icone
Mac OS X Terminal Icon

How to Show Hidden Files In Ubuntu

Ubuntu Logo
Ubuntu Logo

The default install of Ubuntu includes the Gnome desktop environment and the Nautilus file manager, this is the Linux equivalent to Windows Explorer or Mac OS X’s Finder. In Ubuntu and Linux in general most programs hold their settings and configuration data under a folder prefixed with a . (period) in your home folder. By default most file managers hide these folders to make using the system and finding/accessing your files easier. For this reason it’s best just show hidden files briefly and not all the time.

To show hidden folders in Ubuntu simple open a Nautilus window (your home folder) and press Ctrl H. This will show all hidden folders in and files in this window where ever you navigate to. If you would ike to rehide them simply press Ctrl H again.

Here are screen shots of Ubuntu with hidden files both shown and hidden:

Standard Ubuntu Home Folder
Standard Ubuntu Home Folder
Ubuntu Home Folder with Hidden Files
Ubuntu Home Folder with Hidden Files
Applications Ubuntu

First Installs for Ubuntu

With the release of Ubuntu 9.10 aka Karmic Koala last week it was time for me to do a fresh install of Ubuntu on my main machine which dual boots Vista and Ubuntu. For the most part I upgrade my Ubuntu install around beta 1 then roll along with the updates until final release, a few days after final release I wipe the partition and install with a fresh copy just in case any bugs are hanging around.

The default Ubuntu install has some great software out of the box but we need some multimedia stuff like the ability to play MP3s (which may or may not be legal in your country, IANAL) and flash player. From there I install a bunch of other programs I enjoy playing with. Here’s the first command I run for installs:

sudo wget$(lsb_release -cs).list \
–output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list &&
sudo apt-get -q update &&
sudo apt-get –yes -q –allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring &&
sudo apt-get -q update &&
sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras skype googleearth kompozer keepassx pidgin pidgin-plugin-pack inkscape xaralx epiphany midori audacity djplay hydrogen hydrogen-drumkits terminator filezilla gftp abiword cowsay thunderbird banshee virtualbox-ose gnome-do gnome-do-plugins nautilus-image-converter cheese

This adds the Medibuntu repository, which distributes among other things multimedia codecs and Google Earth then updates the software sources and adds it’s keyring (for authentication of packages) then yet again updates the software sources and finally starts installing my programs with confirmation.

Let me run through the packages and what they do:

Ubuntu-restricted-extras: Installs flash, MP3, WMA, and MS Font support among other things.

Skype: The world famous video messaging client works on Linux.

Google-earth: Who doesn’t love Google Earth?

Kompozer: Fork of NVU a WYSIWYG HTML editor, good for simple webpages.

Keepassx: A great cross platform password database app to save all your passwords. I use this on Windows, Linux, and OS X.

Pidgin & pidgin-plugin-pack: Multi-protocol IM client.  In Karmic Empathy is the default IM client however I’m still happy with Pidgin. I use Pidgin on Windows & Linux

Inkscape & Xaralx: Cool graphics programs, which I haven’t dived into as much as I’d like to as they appear to have a steep learning curve.

Ephphany & Midori: Internet browsers as a webmaster you can never have to many browsers.

Audacity, Hydrogen, and DJ Play: These are all programs. Audacity is a track editor, Hydrogen is a beat maker, and DJ play lets you play DJ between two tracks. I haven’t played around with the latter two a whole lot but like to have them installed for when the mood strikes.

Terminator: Embeds multiple terminals in one window. Mainly useful for when I’m ssh’ed into more than 1 server

Filezilla & GFTP: Filezilla is my preferred cross platform FTP client. GFTP is my backup FTP client in addition to Nautilus’s capabilities.

Abiword: Lightweight cross platform word processor I use this on all 3 platforms for hammering out blog posts and replies to longer private messages on forums. I must admit I lauch Abiword before Open Office in most cases.

Cowsay: Neat little app that puts whatever your place after the command in a comic strip bulb over an ASCII cow. It’s not useful for anything just good a for a quick laugh. 😀 Check out Cowsay:

Cowsay screenshot

Thunderbird: Firefox’s sister a cross platform email client. I mostly use it just to monitor a couple of IMAP accounts

Banshee: A music manager.

Virtualbox-ose: A free virtual machine app, I use this to run Windows XP in a virtual machine both on Ubuntu & Vista

Gnome-do & Gnome-do-plugins: Gnome do is a great launcher app much like Vista’s start menu or spotlight on OS X. It can do a lot more but I don’t use for much more than the basic functionality

Nautilus-image-converter: Resize images by right clicking.

Cheese: Webcam application much like Photo Booth on OS X.

From there I head  on over to to grab Songbird and Ubuntu Tweak the go off and download Opera & Dropbox from their respective sites. Assuming Firefox is saving your downloads to ~/Downloads, I install them all with two commands.

cd Downloads/

sudo dpkg -i *.deb (this tells the Ubuntu to unpack all .deb files)


sudo apt-get install -f (to fix dependency issues with Ubuntu Tweak)

Lets run through the apps again: 😉

Songbird: Is a cross platform music manager based on Mozilla. I use it mostly for streaming Shoutcast but it has some great library features built in and is expandable with extensions just like Firefox

Ubuntu Tweak: Basically helps you install packages and if enabled set up some of Compiz’s features in additon to setting default user paths and desktop icons. It’s a nice little app, sort of the modern day Automatic

Opera: Just another web browser

Dropbox: This an awesome cross platform sync tool. I’ve got a premium account and use it to sync and files across all my computers that aren’t confidential. I really cannot say enough good about Dropbox, give it a try.

There you have it with my internet connection I normally get all this installed and have a system ready to go within less than an hour. What do you install first with Ubuntu? Leave any questions in the comments please.


How To Find the appdata Folder in Windows

The appdata folder on windows is just what it sounds like. It’s a folder that stores application data for some programs. Most programs store some of their application data in the registry and some of it in appdata folder. Your appdata folder is an important folder to back up in case of a computer crash or if you choose to upgrade or install Windows.

To get to your appdata folder:

Windows XP: You can find the appdata folder by navigating to it in Explorer under XP.  First Show Hidden Files and Folders then go to My Computer > C:\ > Documents and Settings > <User Name*> > Application Data > Roaming

*Replace <User Name> with your actual user name

Windows 7/Vista: It’s as simple as typing %appdata% and pressing enter into your start menu search box.