Panic Inc. has a well-deserved reputation for creating a very speedy, robust and easy-to-use ftp client app for the Mac. I have used the Transmit app for many years and it is everything a Mac app should be: intuitive, elegant, and fast.
Recently, Panic released an iOS version of Transmit that can be used on iPhones and iPads. This is a great thing for users that want to easily add content or edit a website while away from their primary ‘serious’ computer. As evidenced by some of my previous posts, I am now hosting my website on an Amazon EC2 instance, and getting sFTP service up and running can be a little bit of a twitchy process. The following is a very brief outline of the approach to take to enable the Transmit iOS app to access an Amazon EC2-based website.
This step is optional, but I assume that most users who are interested in downloading the Transmit iOS app will likely have the OSX version running on their computer.
Start the Transmit app, and click on Favorites->Export.. in the menu. You will be presented with an export dialog box. Create a folder in your Dropbox account and name it something like ‘EC2’, and then save the file TransmitFavorites.exportedFavorites to this folder.
On your iOS device, open the dropbox app and navigate to the file you just saved, and then tap the ‘upload’ icon, and a window will pop up with some options. Choose the Open in.. option: Another window will appear, and in this one, tap on the Transmit icon: The iOS device will then switch to Transmit, and here you will select the file that appears and then tap on the Import… selection: Transmit will then ask if you want to import Favorites, and then you should respond affirmatively.
This is the part that feels a little more involved to me. Essentially, the .pem SSL certificate needs to be available inside the Transmit app. The approach recommended on the Panic website is to use iTunes to transfer this file to the ‘keys’ area of the app.
Using a USB connector, connect the iOS device to your computer (iTunes should be running). The iOS device should appear in iTunes. Click on the device name at the top of the iTunes app windows (iPad, iPhone or whatever), and then click on the Apps tab. Scroll down to the File Sharing section on the left-hand pane and locate the Transmit app. Select the Transmit app, and then click the Add.. button at the right hand bottom part of the right-side pane. Navigate to the .pem file and then import it into the Transmit app.
Note: This assumes you have not imported your EC2 server setup in Step 1. If you have, skip down to step 3
/var/www/htmlif you have your site configured in a typical fashion. If the iOS app will be used for poking around on your server, for instance, editing unix configuration files, you may want to set the root path to
I am still tweaking small things on the Amazon EC2 server that is hosting my site. One of the things that I did not do immediately is enable gzip compression of all the site data when it is served to a browser. What this does is compress all the files down before they are pushed across all those tubes that make up the internet, and the browser then decompresses the files on the other side. ⇒
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about the need for enabling secure https access to my website. I am not engaging in any ecommerce. I don’t ask anyone for their money or even their opinions. ⇒