SFTP Documentation

Ursa makes some of its datasets available via an SFTP server. This document describes the process to access Ursa’s SFTP server using public key authentication.


An SSH keypair consists of a private key and a public key. A public key is used to grant access to the bearer of the private key to a remote server via SSH or SFTP. The private key acts as a password, and should not be shared externally. 

In order to access Ursa data via SFTP, you must create an SSH keypair and provide the public key to Ursa. 

Creating an SSH Keypair

  1. Open a new Terminal / PowerShell window depending on whether you are using macOS or Windows
  2. Run the command: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 2048
  3. Select a file path and name for the SSH key
  4. You will be prompted to set an optional password for the keypair. This will need to be used when authenticating with the private key in the future. If this password is lost, the SSH keypair will be unusable.
  5. Once complete, two files will be generated:
    1. key_pair_name - this is the private key and should not be shared externally
    2. key_pair_name.pub - this is the public key and will be shared with Ursa
  6. Send the key_pair_name.pub file to your contact at Ursa along with the username you would like to use to access the Ursa SFTP server

Connecting to the SFTP Server

Once Ursa has added your username and public key to the Ursa SFTP server, you will be able to login using an SFTP client to access the data on the SFTP server.

If you do not already have an SFTP client installed, Ursa recommends the use of FileZilla, which is a free and open source SFTP client: https://filezilla-project.org/ 

These instructions are written for the FileZilla SFTP client.

  1. Open FileZilla, and open the Site Manager interface, and click New site
  2. Name the site Ursa SFTP and configure the following settings:
    Protocol: SFTP
    Host: sftp.ursaspace.com
    Logon Type: Key file
    User: The SFTP username you provided to Ursa
    Key file: The path to your SSH private key
    Note: you may be prompted to convert your SSH private key to the .ppk format. Click Yes to accept the conversion.
  3. Click OK to save the connection. 
  4. Open Site Manager again and click Connect to connect to the SFTP server.
  5. You will now be able to browse the data on Ursa’s SFTP server