Users can edit web files using the Secure File Transfer Protocol, or SFTP. SFTP is configured to use public-keys, which are more secure than the more traditional username/password; nevertheless, after some initial setup, we believe this arrangement is also more convenient than a password, because you don't need to remember or type your password. We have tested on Windows, Mac OS X 10.5, and Linux. The instructions on this page will work with any web editing software, but our focus is on Adobe Dreamweaver as that seems to be popular.
There are three simple setup steps:
Generating a Keypair
In lieu of a traditional username/password "challenge" authentication, we use a private / public key. This arrangement is very secure, but it is also very convenient, because you don't have to type all of them!
- Download and run PuTTYgen.
- Click "Generate" and move your mouse to generate entropy
- Enter a key comment and key passphrase (the longer, the better). Then, save your public key and private key in a safe place.
- Copy and paste your public key from the large textbox, and email it to email@example.com with your request for access.
- Under the "Conversions" menu, select "Export OpenSSH Key" and save it someplace safe. We'll use this key in the next step.
Mac / Linux Instructions
- Open a new shell or terminal. On the Mac, you can find the Terminal application under Applications > Utilities.
Type ssh-keygen and answer the questions when prompted. Some examples are below:$ ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (~/.ssh/id_rsa): (just press return)
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): (this password protects the key file itself. You won't have to type it very often, so make it good.)
Enter same passphrase again: (enter it again)
Your identification has been saved in ~/.ssh/id_rsa
Your public key has been saved in ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub
The key fingerprint is:
Some really long string
- The ~/.ssh/id_rsa file is private and important -- keep it safe. Email the public key file, ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub, to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request for access.
Connecting to the Server
To simplify connection to the server, we are going to set up and mount a virtual filesystem. This will allow you to see all of the files on the server and interact with them as seamlessly as if they were on your computer's hard drive, while still maintaining security.
- Download and install (in order)
- Run the Dokan SSHFS Program (installs to Start Menu by default), and enter in the settings as shown. Select "Identity" and browse to the location of your private key file. For "passphrase", enter the private key's passphrase. Choose a drive letter to use for this connection. When you're happy, you can enter a "name" and save your settings.
- Click "Connect". A drive letter will appear in your Windows Explorer / My Computer interface, which contains the contents of the server.
Mac Instructions (Tested on OS X 10.5 and 10.6)
- Download and install MacFUSE (installer); install it and reboot.
- Download and install Macfusion; unzip it and move the file "Macfusion 2" to the Applications folder.
If you're running OS X 10.6
- Quit Macfusion, if it is running
- Open System Preferences and click the "MacFUSE" pane. Check "Show Beta Versions"
- Update Macfusion
- Open up a terminal (Applications → Utilities → Terminal) and type the following, followed by the return key (all should be on one line)
- Close the terminal
- Open the Macfusion application and click the plus sign in the lower left corner to add a SSHFS connection.
- Add a name for the connection, and in the Host field put the name of the server, such as myfunsite.naz.edu.
- The rest of the fields should be left as their defaults. (Your username should already be in the user name field.)
- Click OK, then click Mount to make the connection.
- The mounted filesystem will be in the finder at /Volumes/myfunsite.naz.edu (varies depending on the name). Press ⌘R to view it.
This is the easiest part. Just tell Dreamweaver to treat the remote site like it's on your local workstation.
- In Dreamweaver, go to the Site menu and click "Manage Sites".
- Add a new site (or edit one, if you’re changing an existing configuration.)
- On the Remote Info tab, set Access to "Local/Network".
- Click the Browse button and navigate to your mounted filesystem. It's probably something like /Volumes/myfunsite.naz.edu/myfunsite.naz.edu (on the Mac), or N:\ (on Windows)