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Using FTP for File Transfer

Using FTP in the CIS Lab

In the CIS lab the FTP Client is named SecureFX. You can find it under Start, Programs. When you begin this program it should present you, under a folder labelled SecureFX, with a choice of logging in to the CIS Dept Linux Server (, the CIS Dept Windows Server (, and perhaps others. You typically use the Windows Server when submitting files for homework. Click on the desired option and then on the Connect button. You will then be prompted for your ID and password for this server. If you are logging into the CIS Dept Windows Server, this is the same password that you use to log in on the CIS lab PCs.

Once you are logged in you should see two windows, the local system (your PC) and the remote system (server) you are connected to. In the remote system window, you will see a tree of folders. You can change folders on either the PC or the server just by double clicking on the desired directory. To transfer a file, just drag it from the one window to the desired location in the other window. The file will be transferred over the network from the one machine to the other. If the software does not recognize the type of file, it may ask you whether to use an ascii or binary transfer. Use ascii for a plain text file, binary for other types of files (such as Word documents).

When you are finished with the FTP session, be sure to exit from the software by clicking on the X in the upper right corner of the window. If asked whether you want to disconnect, indicate yes.

Using FTP from Elsewhere

Important Note:

We have set our servers to deny access to all login attempts except those from the campus network or from the addresses off the campus network that are known to be used by our students or faculty. If you are a CIS student at Saint Vincent College and seem to be denied ftp access, check with Br. David to see if the problem can be resolved. However, if the campus firewall blocks access, then we may be stuck.

The exact directions depend on what ftp client you have. If you have SecureFX see the above. (You can obtain this software from Note that there is a small cost. There are probably some freeware FTP clients available. Do an Internet search for "ftp client" to see what you can find. Exactly how files are transferred can vary, but dragging the file (as with SecureFX above) is fairly typical.

To FTP to the Windows server from off-campus, try the following settings. This is the list used by SecureFX, so you may have to find these settings in other locations with another secure ftp client. In SecureFX, you would begin by doing File, Connect, New Session. Then tell it not to use the wizard. You can then fill in the following settings.

  • Under Connection, Terminal use SSH2 and FTP/SSL (explicit)
  • Under Connection, SSH2, Hostname use
  • Under Connection, SSH2, port use 22
  • Under Connection, FTP, Hostname use
  • Under Connection, FTP, Port use 21
  • Under Connection, FTP, check the box that says "Use outgoing data connections (passive)" (Note: from the campus network you may need to uncheck this box to use an active connection and to also tell your Windows firewall to allow an exception for your ftp software.)
  • Under Connection, FTP, SSL Options check the box for "Use global certificate" as well as the box "Disable certificate validation". The latter is because we use a self-signed certificate.
  • The first time you connect, you will have to accept the credentials that are sent to you.

To FTP to the Unix server from off-campus, try the following settings. Again, this is the exact list used by SecureFX. If you use a different secure ftp client, you will have to find where to specify these settings.

  • Under Connection, Terminal use SSH2
  • Under Connection, File Transfer use SFTP
  • Under Connection, SSH2, Hostname use
  • Under Connection, SSH2, port use 22
  • The first time you connect, you will have to accept the credentials that are sent to you.

FTP Locations

It may be possible to FTP to several locations on the Windows server as shown below. Of course, you do not have permissions to access most of the subfolders of the following root folders, only the ones to which you should have access.

  • /Classes -- root folder containing a folder for each CS course and section.
  • /Homework -- root folder contain a homework folder for each CS course and section, with your personal homework folder inside the correct course folder.
  • /Users -- root folder containing all student folders. (This is how you get to your M: drive.)
  • /Web -- root folder containing the web folders for all users on the web server.