Dreamweaver Secure FTP (SFTP) Configuration

The Dreamweaver configuration documentation for “Secure FTP” is poor to non-existant. I am not talking about how to check Dreamweaver’s “Use Secure FTP (SFTP)” checkbox (which is trivial, but for which there is LOTS of documentation), but rather how to set up your secure server to receive the Secure FTP communication from Dreamweaver.

The trick is that Dreamweaver’s “Secure FTP” is not FTP! It is ssh! It runs on port 22, which is not configurable (within Dreamweaver, as of CS3).

So, for all of us who have wasted hours setting up an ftp server, and trying to figure out why Dreamweaver wouldn’t connect through the firewall, now you know!

You just have to set up sshd to receive connections on port 22, and don’t waste your time with vsftpd!

When configured properly, the (Ubuntu) /var/log/auth.log will report the connection via sshd, and sshd will report “subsystem request for sftp”. sftp is an ftp-like program that runs under and through ssh. You can read more about the sftp client via Linux “man sftp”. You can use the sftp client to connect between Linux computers to transfer files over ssh like you would use ftp, but with no need to set up an ftp server (again, sftp uses the sshd server).

5 thoughts on “Dreamweaver Secure FTP (SFTP) Configuration

  1. The sftp and ftp differenc is clear, the security isue here is that sshd server have to be configured to accept password authentication in order to work with dreamweawer becouse it does’t have option to use authentication key which would be the proper way….
    On the other hand I’d changed port number on which sshd is accepting connection and used same port in DW so hacking tools have a bit of a problem finding the port….

  2. I agree with your points. My points were that 1) there is no documentation of the fact that “Secure FTP” is “sftp via ssh” not some other protocol, and 2) I cannot find a way to change the port in DW, at least with the CS3 version I am using, so you have to use port 22.

    I just would have liked a little documentation. It was the lack of documentation that led me to post this.

  3. No, I do not see a way to change the port in Dreamweaver CS3. If you know where to look please let me know. Hopefully, they included that setting in CS4, although I do not have that version (I’m waiting for CS5, which I understand may be coming out in April 2010).

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