Design · Culture · Spirituality

Sharing a FileZilla Profile

My favorite FTP client is FileZilla. In the last year or so, it became cross-platform. For myself, I currently run it in Windows and Linux, which in my system reside on separate hard drives. I share the data between the two.

This would also work for networking environments, where multiple designers or developers need to share FTP data from a central server or other system.

Configuring FileZilla

FileZilla has a file called fzdefaults.xml. On Windows systems, it resides at C:\Program Files\FileZilla FTP Client\fzdefaults.xml. Note that, when you first install the program, there will be an fzdefaults.xml.example inside the /FileZilla FTP Client\docs folder instead. Simply duplicate this file, move it into the main FileZilla FTP Client folder, and rename it to fzdefaults.xml.

On Ubuntu, if you install FileZilla from the repositories, the file resides at /home/username/.filezilla/fzdefaults.xml. The same process works, if there is an fzdefaults.xml.example. I have not yet had the pleasure of installing FileZilla on a Mac, but I suspect it is similar to the Linux path.

When you have this file in the right location, open it up. There is a line that reads

<Setting name="Config Location">$SOMEDIR/filezilla/</Setting>

Change the $SOMEDIR/filezilla/ to the centrally located folder where the data will be stored. An example is /media/shared/Filezilla_Profile/. Save.

Then, you should copy all of the files that are inside C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\FileZilla\ (Windows) or /home/username/.filezilla (Linux, but do not copy fzdefaults.xml) and move them to the above folder.

In the central folder, open up sitemanager.xml. This should be all of your FTP data. FileZilla will use this file the next time it opens, and from here on out it will update this file as you add new information.

Operating System Issues

Probably because FileZilla was originally a Windows program, there are few if any issues that will commonly arise.

On Linux systems, FileZilla requires that the central location (on another hard drive, or another server, or wherever it may be) have specific configuration when it is mounted. The current user (you, when you are logged in) needs to be able to read and write files in the mounted drive, or you will receive lots of errors when you try to open it.

For example, if you were trying to mount /sda5 as the external drive that FileZilla needed to use, you would do it like this:

In your terminal, type:

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

This file controls what media (hard drives, CD drives, etc.) that the system mounts when it boots. Start a new line at the end.

/dev/sda5 /media/shared vfat defaults,utf8,umask=007,uid=1000,gid=1000

This would name your new drive “shared”, put a link to it in the media folder, and give it the proper permissions for your user. To get the proper uid, type id in a terminal window. Replace uid and gid, if necessary.

FileZilla, as well as other programs that could share data across systems and operating systems (Firefox, for example), will now be able to use the data properly.


  1. Nick

    “This would also work for networking environments, where multiple designers or developers need to share FTP data from a central server or other system.”

    Unfortunately Filezilla stores all settings in the central folder (layout, queue, recent servers etc.) so if multiple users share the same config location they cannot have individual settings/history for the program.

    Do you know of a way around this?

  2. Nick

    In answer to my own post I used to symlinks to allow all users to run from the same site config file, but keep their own version of the other config files.

    Seems to work, but I suspect it is possible for users simultaneously editing the ftp accounts to over-write each others changes.

  3. Jonathan Stegall

    Hey Nick,

    Thanks for your question, and for coming back to answer it. I had planned to spend some time trying to find an answer. Most appreciated.


  4. [...] noticed that, interestingly enough, my most visited post for this entire year is this one on how to share a FileZilla profile, in which I showed how to use the same FTP profile with my [...]

  5. kevin

    thanks very much this works a dream will save lots of time

  6. [...] files of FileZilla. This enables you to set configuration and FTP connections once for everybody. Jonathan Stegall has written an article on how to do that. var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, [...]

  7. Audric

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for the clear instructions! They were just what we needed.

Post a Comment

Please provide your name, email (will not be published), and a message.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About the Designer

Jonathan Stegall is a web designer and emergent / emerging follower of Jesus currently living in Atlanta, seeking to abide in the creative tension between theology, spirituality, design, and justice.