Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Connecting to servers in Ubuntu with "Connect to Server..."

I don't know how this has eluded me for so long, but there is actually a very nice interface built into Ubuntu that allows you to connect to servers using any of the following protocols: ftp, ssh, windows share, WebDAV (http), Secure WebDAV (https), and more. This is a nice alternative to using third party software like FireFTP (even though that program rocks) or the command line.

Simply pulling down the Places->Connect to Server... option in GNOME opens a dialog box which allows you to enter the appropriate information about the server you want to connect to. After the connection is successful, a folder representing the remote file system will appear on both the Desktop and in the Places menu. Another nice feature is that the folder even has some little letters on it telling you what protocol it is connecting over. You can now drag and drop files via the Nautilus interface, as if the directory was local. How convenient!

This tip found via the free online book Ubuntu Linux Bible. (Reviews on Amazon) By the way, this is an incredibly comprehensive reference on all things that an end user might want to do on Ubuntu. It also has sections on setting up subversion, using LaTeX, setting up other servers such as Apache, multimedia usage, and just about everything else. UPDATE: Whoops! This actually got posted by mistake by Lifehacker... the book has been taken down... it's still a good book, though!

UPDATE: For some more (unrelated) GNOME fun, right click on an icon and select "Stretch Icon" to blow up the icon to a cartoonish size. Click "Restore Icon's Original Size" in the same menu if you get tired of it (which you will, after 2 seconds).

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