sFTP Client for OSX – Cyberduck

Publicado el viernes, 24 de junio de 2011

As I was setting up a work environment for a project with a mac-user who has no particular love or disposition for computers or software, I was faced with a problem. We needed the following:

The problem is of course that Apple never bothered to incorporate FTP and sFTP in the finder. So there is no way to connect directly to a sFTP folder there.

My usual recipe would be to use SVN on the remote server in combination with svnX on the mac. But in this case that would be way too complicated for the intended user. Then there is another long-time favourite Fetch. But Fetch requires a license (which is more than worth it!). Filezilla is great on windows, but does not compare to Fetch in ease of use when on OSX.

Enter Cyberduck. A neat little donationware application I had not seen before. It is easy to set up for a user so that only clicking on a bookmark is required. It acts like a finder window and allows you to synchronize your files with a local folder, where it will check the date stamp and decide whether to upload or download any changes.

A nice detail is that it will automatically skip .svn files (along with a host of other invisibles like the osx .DS_Store and .git). In a mixed environment like we work in this is a real bonus, because I cannot clutter the recipients remote folder with files that make no sense to him at all.

The downside is that each time that you want to synchronize a folder, you need to select. The way we made this part easy is to include the project folder in the Finder favorites (drag the folder to the left hand column of the finder pane.

A few things to consider if you set Cyberduck up to work like this is the following:

And basically you are set to go. In my case I can still sync to my SVN folders so that at least part of the project is under version control. The non-technical project partner can work offline and easily upload any changes he made without having to thing about it (the synchronization option). And in the event that this creates any versioning problems I catch them at my end through SVN.

Do you have any alternatives for a collaborative project like this? Let me know.