Forums/Using Cloud9 IDE/Frequently asked questions

My ftp project does not work. Am I doing something wrong?

Detmar ter Huurne
posted this on November 30, 2011, 17:48

First of all make sure you read the article about setting up an FTP project. Be aware that we do not support active FTP, SFTP or FTPS, but only passive FTP (please refer below for the required firewall settings)

Secondly, your first source of information for problems in the workspace would be the FTP log. It is in the bottom of the screen, where the console used to be. If you do not see it, please enable it in the menu ('View' -> 'Console').

Also, please make sure you succeed the login test when creating a project. If you didn't try it when creating the project, just click in "FTP settings" (next to Start Editing) in the dashboard. In the pop up window, you can do the login test again:


Please note that if the password is not displayed it should be specified to make testing successful. 

We are aware that the implementation of ftp projects is not perfect yet. When leaving the workspace open but untouched for some time will auto logout of the FTP server. Refreshing the file tree helps in many cases. Right-click the file tree and 'refresh' or use it from the settings/gear icon just above it.

Connection errors

Error Description
getaddrinfo ENOENT The server hostname was not found in the DNS. Please verify that the server name is correct and registered properly in the DNS.
connect ECONNREFUSED The connection was denied on the server side. Check port and firewall.
Login not accepted Username or password is incorrect, please verify and correct them.
550 Failed to change directory

After connecting, C9 failed to change directory top 'initial path'. Please verify the value of 'initial path', path type (absolute [start with '/'] or relative) and file permissions to that directory.

Another possible problem is a wrong "Initial Path". Did you set the "Initial Path" in the FTP project? If so, could you not set it? Some users seem to be having problems with it when the path they put doesn't exist or is a relative path. This is not a bug, but a misunderstanding of absolute vs relative paths. If you put a relative path (that is, if the initial path does not start with a /), then Cloud9 assumes that you want to start from the folder your FTP server leaves you after login (home or default folder). If you put an initial path that leaves you in a location where you don't have write privileges, that could cause problems too.

Passive FTP & firewalls

The following connections should be allowed in the firewall rule set:

  • FTP server's port 21 from anywhere (Client initiates connection)
  • FTP server's port 21 to ports > 1023 (Server responds to client's control port)
  • FTP server's ports > 1023 from anywhere (Client initiates data connection to random port specified by server)
  • FTP server's ports > 1023 to remote ports > 1023 (Server sends ACKs (and data) to client's data port)


Please find some information below in reply to questions asked here. Thank you for suggestions, appreciated.

We have had problems with FTP projects in the past, but we believe we resolved all. FTP projects should be working correctly. 


Q: how to run in FTP projects?

A: The FTP protocol is a file transfer protocol and is therefore unfortunately restricted in some features. Unlike SSH/git projects, running code in an FTP project is not possible. FTP projects are commonly used for hosting solutions where SSH access is not allowed.


Q: Does deleting the workspace delete all files?

A: No it does not. It is a warning that applies to git workspaces and incorrectly reused in FTP workspaces.  We understand the message is confusing, sorry for this.


Q: Which IP is accessing my FTP server?

A: At this moment they could be

Our proxies (needed to contact our website)

(ping ..., those are the servers used to contact your ftp server)

However, we cannot guarantee it will never change. A more generic way to find out is checking the ftp server log or firewall log for blocked connection attempts on port 21.



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Anupama Vasant Patil

I am new to cloud9.I was trying out the tutorial to set up git project.

I wrote the server,js as specified in the tutorial.

But when I clik the run button menu,I dont get any pop up window to run.?

(My browser's popup setting is unblocked).

March 6, 2012, 08:49
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Patricio Reinoso

I was testing Cloud9 since the beta stage, and it works great!, But i have a question. 


I have set a couple of projects with FTP sites, but If I delete them, I get a message that all the files will be deleted, but I dont know if the files on the FTP server will be deleted, or only the project files will be deleted on C9.

June 28, 2012, 18:27
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Jonas Flint

wow. sftp is kind of a big deal.... hope this can get resolved quickly.  It is one of the issues holding me back from going premium...

June 29, 2012, 00:32
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David B

FTP simply does not work. It should say beta as to not get everyone's hopes down. 
IF this worked this site would be famous...but it doesn't.  Heck, I'd probably upgrade and pay the 12$ a month. Right now it's useless. Just a pretty site with no functionality for FTP users.

June 30, 2012, 16:58
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David B

Ok . I FIGURED IT OUT.....Once i deleted some files from my ftp folder (i.e. made the whole folder not as big in size), it started working...I guess it can't handle all those files at once ?

July 1, 2012, 02:51
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Douglas Smith

I was having severe time out problems, usually with the second save attempt. I Googled to learn the difference between passive and active FTP, used Ubuntu ufw command on my Rackspace account to open up the 30000:30999 port range vsftpd wanted, and also increased my default idle time and connection timeout times to 3600 seconds (1 hour).
I love the FTP feature of C9, as well as the editor, perhaps they should provide a better explanation of how this should work. Of course, every FTP server will be different, and the programmer may not have authority to change the configuration, but I don't think we can lay blame on C9 for that. My two cents, anyway. 

August 22, 2012, 16:21
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James Ingram

There is a broken link to

at the top of this page.

Is FTP currently working at all? If so, how/where can I set it up? Any other news on this topic?

October 25, 2012, 14:14
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Jan Linhart

Hi. I have to set up a list of IP addresses from which I can connect to FTP server. This is the reason I can't connect with I tried IP address from ping command for ( and the one from this command to editor's console $OPENSHIFT_INTERNAL_IP ( but non of that is working. 

Can you tell me which address is accessing my webhosting's FTP server?

November 23, 2012, 16:29
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Travis Johnson

What about ftp collaboration? When will that be available?

September 26, 2013, 05:29