FTP Doesn't Work

Below is a list of things to try if you cannot connect to one or more servers using the Opus FTP/SFTP/SSH functionality.

  • Passive mode (PASV) setting in FTP Preferences.

    (Very relevant to FTP and possibly FTPS. Not relevant to SFTP.)

    If you seem to be able to connect to an FTP site but then fail to receive a directory listing immediately afterwards you probably just need to toggle the Passive mode setting.

    FTP transfers consist of a control connection and a data connection. The first time the data connection will be used is to download the initial directory listing. Toggling Passive mode toggles whether the client or the server initiates and chooses the port for the data connection. Sometimes either mode will work and other times, often due to firewalls on either or both sides of the connection, only one of the modes will work.

    There is a default setting for Passive mode under FTP -> Edit Address Book -> Default Settings -> Network. You can also override it on a per-site basis by clicking on a site in your FTP bookmarks instead of the Default Settings entry at the top of the list.

  • Firewall / Anti-Spyware software

    If you are running certain Firewall or Anti-Spyware software which prevents programs from making or accepting Internet connections, try disabling it temporarily to see if the problem goes away. If this does solve the problem then you will need to tell this software to trust Opus to connect to the Internet. You may also need to open certain ports on your firewall.

    If FTP was working but stopped working after an Opus upgrade, you most likely have a firewall or anti-spyware program that is looking for a specific program signature. You will need to tell it to allow the new version of Opus to access the Internet.

  • Proxy Servers

    If you are running on a secure network where you cannot get direct access to the internet (e.g. you are unable to use Ping or basic DNS to see external servers) then you will need to configure an FTP proxy. This can be done under FTP -> Edit Address Book -> Default Settings (or a specific site) -> Global (or Site if editing a specific site).

    Opus supports several types of proxies but keep in mind that many corporate networks only provide a web proxy and will not allow full FTP access at all. If in doubt talk to your network administrator.

  • The FTP log in the Output Window

    The FTP log can often be used to diagnose what's going wrong.

    To open the FTP log window, select the FTP / Display FTP Logs menu item, then select either [All Activity] or the specific site you care about from the drop-down list of logs.

    To make the log show even more information, enable the Debug option in the FTP address book (on the Display tab when editing an FTP address book item or the Default Settings item).

  • Connection Type

    Opus supports several file transfer protocols including standard FTP, two variants of Secure FTP and also SSH (typically used for secure access to Unix/Linux shell accounts). Make sure you have configured the connection type and port correctly for each of your sites.

  • Timeouts

    You can adjust the connection and retry timeouts under FTP -> Edit Address Book -> Default Settings (or a specific site) -> Network. You will probably only need to do this if you have a very slow connection to the server in question.

  • Using Another Client

    Check that you can access the same site using a different FTP client. If it works, look at the client's configuration to see if anything is different to the config for the same site in Opus. If it doesn't work in any FTP client, and you've tried all the steps above, then it's possible the problem is at the server end.

  • Latest version of Opus

    Check you are using the latest version of Opus, since fixes and compatibility improvements are part of some updates.

  • If you connect but the directory listing is empty

    (Very relevant to FTP and possibly FTPS. Not relevant to SFTP.)

    First, try the PASV suggestion above, if you haven't already.

    Failing that, open FTP > FTP Address Book in Opus, then select the site in the tree.

    Go to the Misc tab and turn off Use MLST, then try the site again.

    If it still does not work, go back to the Misc tab and turn on Use custom LIST command, then type LIST on its own into the box directly below, and try the site again.

  • "WSASTARTUP not yet performed"

    "WSASTARTUP not yet performed" indicates one of the following is likely:

    • A firewall, antivirus or similar piece of software is blocking Opus from making WinSock / networking calls.

    • The WinSock DLLs are damaged on your system.

      This could be caused by versions of the WinSock DLLs, or something pretending to be them, being placed into the Opus directory, which would only affect Opus.

      On the other hand, if the system-wide WinSock DLLs are damaged then this would probably also affect other applications that connect to the Internet.

    • A 3rd party shell extension that gets loaded into Opus (and Explorer, File Open dialogs, etc.) is uninitialising WinSock, possibly due to a bug.

      Note that Directory Opus 11.17 and later will take active steps to prevent this issue.

      e.g. If a shell extension initialises WinSock once, then un-initialises it twice, it will break WinSock for Opus itself and all other shell extensions loaded into Opus, until the process has been restarted.

      This could affect both Opus and Explorer, or it might affect only one or the other, depending on exactly how the shell extension's bug is triggered.

      Extensions related to cloud storage and online version control would be most likely to do this. ShellExView can be used to see which extensions are installed on your machine and disable them. You need to fully exit Opus (via File / Exit Directory Opus, not just by closing all open windows) and restart it for changes made with ShellExView to take effect.