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Access SFTP From Your Chromebook With This New App


A new Chrome App lets you access SFTP servers right from your Chrome OS devices.

Announced in a Google+ post by developer Yoichiro Tanaka, and shared by Googler François Beaufort, SFTP File System leverages the new File System Provider API to connect to SFTP servers right from Chrome OS.

Your SFTP server sits alongside Google Drive

Your SFTP server sits alongside Google Drive

The File System Provider API recently landed in the stable channel with Chrome OS 40 and gives developers the ability to integrate new virtual file systems into Chrome OS alongside the built-in Google Drive integration.

While the Chrome devs have been focused on bringing the likes of Amazon S3, WebDAV, and Dropbox support to Chrome OS, Tanaka’s Chrome App is a boon for anyone needing access to SFTP servers to upload assets or backups right from their Chromebooks.

Using SFTP File System

SFTP File System has a simple interface, with some very slick Material Design cues, that makes it easy to access your servers. Upon entering the correct credentials, your SFTP file system will be mounted and accessible from the built-in Files app.

Opening a folder was taking too long.

Opening a folder was taking too long.

From there you can add, delete, and modify files as per usual. If something is taking too long, Chrome OS will pop up a notification asking if you’d like to abort the operation – an excellent point of integration and a huge plus if you’re working off a spotty Wi-Fi connection.

And when you’re through, you can unmount your SFTP server by clicking the eject icon in the sidebar or right-clicking and hitting “Close”. You can also save your connections to the sidebar by pressing the “Keep” button in the app, though you’ll need to enter your password again.

Getting SFTP File System

SFTP File System is available right from the Chrome Web Store. It’ll only work on your Chromebooks, -bases, and -boxes as the File System Provider API is only available on Chrome OS.

SFTP File System on the Chrome Web Store

  • Not yet stable or reliable enough for regular use, but very promising.

    It needs an initial directory configuration option, as opposed to always mounting ‘/’. In addition, the key should be referenced by file name, rather than having to paste it into the dialog. Also, there are frequent hangs that need to be addressed.

    A very good start!

    • What Mace said ^

      I’m a big fan of release early, release often, especially for ‘developer orientated’ features. By getting this out now the developer can get feedback from real world use cases.

  • antidopinguser

    is it possible to use it to see the shared folders in a windows lan? in other words, i know the ip addresses of the lan pc that have the shared folders, can i access them using this app on my chromebook?

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      Shared folders in a LAN is SAMBA, not FTP. So no, you can’t use a (S)FTP application for this I’m afaid.

      • antidopinguser

        shut up you stupid MS fanboy

  • Fahim Sabir

    does this also do FTP?

    • Beorn Morder

      I tried FTP and it err’d right away with port 21… I am very happy to see cert login working.

  • Yossihn Hayoun

    I have got a “Western Digital my cloud” . Is it possible to access it with this app?

  • Eric Aguayo

    Sounds great, been mounting my servers with fuse, but this will make that process easier. I agree, it’s not yet stable and it’s been crashing a few times in an Acer 13, but it’s very promising.

  • Like others said it is pretty cool but not stable. I think the really cool part is that over time more of these type of app type integration is coming. FTP would be nice as well as other cloud services.


    A very good app in complement with sFTP. I think that I will use it with an in-house build FTP server instead of a NAS which is not so easy to use with a Chromebook. QNAP made a Chromebook only app to reach its Turbo QNAS but they are very expensive for huge storage. Lets wait for the future upgrades and for more stability.

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  • Matty

    Just had to google what sftp is….. SSH ftp: What I’ve been using at home for ages…. Awesome! My entire data is now available on my chromebook from Chrome OS. Nice work.

    I see it’s on github, so I presume this means it’s open source also! Even better!

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  • Dude

    A new author? Not Joey? Wut.

  • Yossihn Hayoun

    Great start. Not stable.

  • As of the current 1.5.0 version, performance, stability, and usability have improved considerably. I was able to mount our server and play a movie via the ChromeOS video player. Seeking even worked correctly.

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  • Yossihn Hayoun

    I wunder if the author could do the same for SAMBA server.

  • Jeroen Alberts

    Great, this was the app I was waiting for. Could enable the SFTP server in my synology nas and it works like a charm. Thanks a lot to the developers!

  • This is great but I need some help using ssh keys with App. There is limited help inside the app.

  • I am a noob. After some troubleshooting (adding pub key to remote host) – works flawlessly. Love this app!

  • SystemBuilder

    I used the app today to upload a 170MB video to my web server. Chrome is on its way!

  • Kath Crolla

    Attempting to use this to connect to my WD My Book Live. I’ve put in the IP address of the browser page which I assume is what IP address means. I’ve put in my user name and password. Just get failed to connect. Tried also “mybooklive” instead of IP address, no luck.FTP is enabled on the WDMBL.

  • JM

    I have tried on two different chromebooks and it doesn’t work at all. Its a waste of time

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  • Warwick Barnes

    This software is rubbish. totally flaky. Its caused me massive headaches for 2 days. Works one minute, doesnt work the next, got a mind of its own and pointed me to the wrong drive which I formatted. Completely substandard compared to the rest of the OS. If chrome can’t support network shares I’m going back to windows.

  • Remi van Beekum

    For me this is one of the worst things on a Chromebook. I love chromebooks. But fixing things on a website is a disaster.