Connect to FTP Server using a Chromebook

So you want to connect to an FTP server using a Chromebook? As you probably already know, chromebooks are excellent web development devices. With their lightweight footprint and full Chrome browser, they are well suited to this work. However, connecting to FTP server is not that easy a task – until now. With the advent of Android apps coming to most Chromebooks things are set to get much easier. This article runs through setting your Chromebook to connect to a FTP server so you can get on with developing with your Chromebook.

Android Apps for Chromebook

Google Play Store Android Apps Chromebook Flip

To get this to work, you will (currently) need a Chromebook running on the beta channel which is compatible with the Play Store. Please refer to this list to determine whether your Chromebook is compatible now or coming soon.

This article has been written on my trusty Asus Chromebook Flip on the beta channel.

FTP Server using a Chromebook

So, to get started you will need to open the Google Play store and search for FTP. This will bring up a myriad of apps to choose from. For this walk through I’m going to choose AndFTP as it is free (ad supported) and works really well on ChromeOS.

FTP Server Using a Chromebook

This is what your Chrome desktop should look like after you’ve installed AndFTP:

AndFTP Install on Chromebook

When you first run AndFTP you will be prompted to setup a connection. Don’t be so hasty as you’ll need to make a setting change first.

Configuring AndFTP

Being as the app you are using isn’t aware you are using a Chromebook and thinks you are on a phone or tablet you need to change the local storage directory called. To do this, click on the settings icon in the top right hand corner:

Settings Cog in Top Right Hand Corner

Then notice the Home Dir is set as /storage/emulated/0

AndFTP Storage

Click on external

And then when prompted to uses the downloads folder press Select

Select Downloads Folder

Now when you upload or download content from an FTP site, the files will all reside in the Downloads folder. This is accessible to the entire system, so a top place to start.

From now on, all new connections will use the Downloads folder and this will not need to be manually set for each connection.

Setup FTP Server

Now you can move on to creating a connection and put in the details you need to connect to your chosen FTP server.

Test everything is working as it should, including saving files to your device.

A Note on Downloads

It is worth noting the Downloads folder will get cleaned up (deleted) by the system if storage becomes tight. So, it is worth moving or copying important files to Google Drive. This ensures that if your system does clear these out, you have a copy you can easily recover.

If You Get Stuck…

By now you should have the means to connect to your FTP Server using a Chromebook. If you get stuck though, please get in touch by leaving a comment below.