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How do I transfer files with Fugu?

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  • SFTP programs and other software are available through the ITS Software page.

Fugu is a popular Secure File Transfer application (SFTP) for Macintosh computers which also includes support for SCP file transfers, and the ability to create secure tunnels via SSH. This page contains basic instructions for getting started using Fugu to transfer files between your computer and a remote server.

About FTP & SFTP

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. This protocol provides a standard way to transfer files between computers, regardless of the operating system on each computer (Windows, DOS, Macintosh, UNIX, etc.). It is the most common protocol used for exchanging files between computers on the Internet. Secure FTP (SFTP) is similar to FTP, but with SFTP the entire session is encrypted, so that passwords are never sent in the clear, and are therefore much less vulnerable to interception.

This page provides instructions for connecting to a web server on which you have an account and for uploading and downloading files. If you wish to connect to an anonymous server, use Fetch instead of Fugu.

Get Fugu

Fugu logo of a fish Qualified NYU community members can download a free copy of Fugu from the ITS Software page. Log in with your NYU NetID and password if required, then click the Fugu installer link to download the software. Double click the installer icon on your desktop to complete the installation.

Connect to an SFTP Server

When you start Fugu, a window automatically opens to create a connection (see figure 1). Use the mouse or the tab key to move among fields.

  1. In the Connect to: field type the hostname of the SFTP server.
  2. In the Username: field, type your username.
  3. In the Port: field, enter a port number if you wish, or simply leave this field blank.
  4. In the Directory: field, enter the name of the directory which contains the files you wish to access. If you do not know the directory name, leave this field blank, or enter pub/ to see if there is a directory by that name.
  5. If you plan to access this server frequently, you can save a shortcut by clicking Add to Favorites. Once you have saved a favorite location, you can access it quickly using the pull-down menu below the "Connect to:" field.
  6. Click Connect.
  7. screenshot of Fugu New Connection screen

    Figure 1

  8. In the window that opens, type your password in the empty field (see figure 2). The characters you type will appear as black dots for security reasons.
  9. Click Authenticate to connect to the SFTP server.
  10. screenshot of Fugu Password sign-in screen

    Figure 2

File Transfer with Fugu

Once connected, the Fugu window displays file and directory information from your local computer on the left side and from the remote server on the right side (see figure 3). Use the pull-down menus on each side to navigate among directories. If you wish, click the Local Home and Remote Home icons at the top to set the default directories.

screenshot of main Fugu file transfer screen

Figure 3

Once you have navigated to the desired directory for both your local computer and the remote server, you are ready to transfer files:

To transfer a file from your local computer to the remote server:

Click on the file in the left window and drag and drop it into the right window. Note: be careful not to drop the file directly onto a subdirectory folder, as it will be placed within that folder automatically.

To transfer a file from the remote server to your local computer:

Either double click the name of the appropriate file in the right window, or click and drag the file from the right window and drop it into the left window. Note: be careful not to drop the file directly onto a subdirectory folder, as it will automatically be placed within that folder.

Set File Permissions

When uploading files to a remote server, you can decide whether other people will be allowed to access or edit specific files or entire directory folders. To do so, click the file or directory folder name to highlight it, then click the Info icon at the top. In the window that opens, select the access levels you wish in the Permissions section.

screenshot of Fugu permissions screen

Figure 4

There are many combinations of permissions you can choose, but most commonly:

  • If you wish to make an individual file publicly accessible on the Web but not editable by people outside your group, set the permissions so that the file's "Owner" and "Group" can read and write to the file, but "Others" can only read the file, not write to it or execute it (as shown in figure 4, above). Note that individual files do not need to be executable; this setting is for entire directory folders. Click Apply when done.
  • If you wish to make an entire directory publicly accessible on the Web but not editable by others, set the permissions so that others can read and execute the directory, but not write to it (see figure 5). Click Apply when done.
scenario (octal 755)

Figure 5

Additional Tips

  • To delete a file or folder, click the file or folder to highlight it, then click the Delete icon at the top.
  • To open a file in an external text editor, click the file name to highlight it, then click the Edit icon at the top. To choose which editing program will open, go to the Fugu menu and select Preferences..., then click the Files icon and select the program you prefer.
  • To close the connection to the remote server, click the Disconnect icon at the top.
  • To close Fugu, select Quit Fugu from the Fugu menu.

SCP, SSH and Other Information

Complete help files for Fugu, including SCP and SSH instructions, are available from the Help menu within the program, and in the Read Me file available on the Fugu website (click Documentation):

For general information about using SFTP, including an explanation of SFTP addresses and detailed information about file types, see

Page last reviewed: August 21, 2009