FTP From Windows

NOTE: These tutorials use screenshots that show connecting by FTP, however you can only connect to CASLab servers using SFTP.

FileZilla is a free file transfer client program. These instructions pertain to the FileZilla Client (Windows) version 3.0.1 as downloaded from http://filezilla-project.org/. It is assumed that you have installed the program on your computer using default options. (Note: The version of FileZilla offered on Packman is older than 3.0.1, and some minor differences in the user interface exist.)

FileZilla allows you to connect to and share files with remote computers using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or SFTP (Secure FTP). Note: Only computers running FTP/SFTP server software will allow you to connect to them. These instructions are specific to our primary CASLab server, Zeus. They tell you how to configure FileZilla’s Site Manager to make secure (privacy-assured) connections to Zeus quickly and easily.

Site Manager Configuration

    1. Start FileZilla from your Start|All Programs list.
    2. Select File|Site Manager… This will cause the Site Manager dialogue window to open.


  1. Click on the New Site button. This will cause a new entry to be created in one of the panes of the open dialogue, under the heading “My sites”.

    The default name of this new entry will be “New site”, but the program will be ready to change that name to one of your choosing. Type in “Zeus” and press Enter.

    (Note, if you accidentally accepted the name, “New site”, or wish to rename the entry for any other reason, you can do this by highlighting the misnamed entry in Site Manager and clicking the Rename button.)
  2. In the Site details section of the dialogue…
    • under “Host:”, enter “zeus.caslab.queensu.ca”;
    • under “Servertype:”, select “SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol” from the drop-down list;
    • in the “Logontype” subsection, change the setting from “Anonymous” to “Normal”
    • under “User:”, type your CASLab user name (likely the same as your qlink ID);
    • under “Password:”, type your CASLab password (or bypass this step for extra security);

  3. Click on the OK button.

Connecting to Zeus


    1. Start FileZilla from your Start|All Programs list.


    1. Select File|Site Manager… This will cause the Site Manager dialogue window to open.


    1. Under the “My sites” heading, select “Zeus”.


    1. Click on the Connect button.


Once you have established a connection to Zeus, your files there will be listed in the Remote Site pane on the right side of the FileZilla window. Your PC’s (local) files and folders appear in two panes on the left side of the window. To move files between Zeus and your PC, drag them and drop them with your mouse, as you would between two Explorer windows. To end your session, select File|Disconnect, or simply close FileZilla.


If you feel comfortable doing so, click on the Advanced button in the Site Manager, and examine the resulting dialogue. In it, you can specify the default folders showing in FileZilla for both the remote computer and your PC. For example, if under “Default remote” you specify the UNIX path to your Z: drive files (something like “/cas/student/9xx9/.Zdrive/” where “9xx9” is replaced by your CASLab ID), then you will see your Z: drive files displayed in the Remote Site pane when you connect.

Other FTP/SFTP Programs

Here are some other Windows programs that do much the same job behind the scenes as FileZilla. (There are many.) The interfaces they offer may be similar to FileZilla’s, or quite different, but they typically require the same items of information from you for establishing connections.

  • WS_FTP LE used to be the only FTP client program offered on Packman, but it is an antiquated program that omits SFTP. It is still available through Packman, but not recommended. You may run into it from time to time.
  • There is an FTP program that comes with Windows (and UNIX, and Linux, and so on). It is called FTP (oddly enough), but is only available from a command prompt. It’s VERY basic, but may be useful if nothing else is available. To see its startup options, go to a command prompt and type “ftp -?”. To connect to Zeus from a command prompt, type “ftp zeus.caslab.queensu.ca” and enter your CASLab ID and password when prompted. After that, type “help” and press Enter to see a list of available commands. Type “bye” and press Enter to disconnect and exit the program. (For further info, look up “using ftp command prompt” in a Web search engine.)
  • FireFTP is a free add-on for the popular FireFox Web browser. See http://fireftp.mozdev.org/ for details and a download link. It works a lot like FileZilla, but within the context of a FireFox window.
  • If you don’t mind spending a little money, you might be interested in a program called WebDrive from South River Technologies, Inc. It makes FTP and SFTP connections behave exactly like extra drives (with drive letters!) on your PC.