From FTP to sFTP with MindTerm

By Blane Warrene

I have been exploring a neat little Java-based tool called MindTerm that can act as an ftp proxy as well as an SSH client.

While I am glued solidly to using the Terminal utility in OS X (and FTPeel for FTP tasks), I do like the MindTerm ssh client and proxy capabilities. More importantly though, it can be used an a standalone applet or as a library within another web or desktop application.

The key factor to me is its ability to act as an ftp proxy, allowing standard ftp usage from the desktop which is routed over an ssh connection. In essence one launches the applet, connects to a host, minimizes MindTerm and then launches their ftp client. Within the ftp client the host is changed to and an ftp session is routed over the previously established ssh connection.

The product is open source and available for free limited commercial use for 100 users or less. Larger site implementations may incur costs. The company, AppGate Network Security, also offers some OEM licensing for those seeking large scale distributions of products with the MindTerm library embedded.

  • denis

    We call this feature an FTP-to-SFTP bridge. It is available for Windows in Bitvise’s general-purpose SSH client called Tunnelier, which includes much more than just this feature, but the bridge feature itself operates just like Blane described for MindTerm above.

    In a similar vein to MindTerm, Tunnelier is free of charge for individual use, and that includes up to 4 users or machines within an organizational department.


  • I should have also mentioned that (although it was assumed) that MindTerm works across all platforms (Java framework). Per the open source element to MindTerm, the license is at It is a custom public source license – so read carefully. However, it does allow for modifications and redistribution. It reads a bit like the LGPL.

  • PaulE

    Its funny that you use this on OSX. OSX actually ships with an ssh client (as do all linux distro’s).

    open a shell and type “man ssh” for details and port forwarding.

  • I use all of OS X’s native tools as I develop for the web and for the application side- but MindTerm has come in handy for a few clients. No worries – I have been under the hood since 1995…Thanks for the thought though.

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