How to FTP to your Web Hosting Project account on

You can use SSH keys to SFTP and SSH to your cPanel shared web hosting account.

NOTE: This documentation is for the Engineering cPanel server. For the campus cPanel server see

The Engineering cPanel server will be turned off at the end of the 2018 Fall semester. All active websites are being moved to the campus cPanel service. 

You can use SFTP or SCP to access your project web hosting account.  The basic steps are:

  1. Create an ssh public/private key set.
  2. Add the public key to the projects .ssh/authorized_keys file
  3. Connect directly to web.engr.illinois with the project account name with a program such as Filezilla.  No password is necessary.

Here are more detailed instructions for Windows for creating your keys and then using them. This assumes you have a program such as Filezilla already installed:

  1. Click here to download and install Putty
  2. Run puttygen to generate a new public/private key set.   (Detailed instructions here or follow next steps for basic instructions).
  3. Click the Generate button
  4. Set a passphrase when asked.
  5. Save the public and private keys
  6. Select and copy the data in the box below "Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file".
  7. Login to and go to your project.
  8. Go to File Manager and choose Home Directory
  9. Click on Show Hidden Files and select Go
  10. Go to the .ssh directory (make it if necessary) and create a new file named authorized_keys.
  11. Paste what you copied in step 6 into this file and save the file.

To use this key do the following:

  1. Run Pageant from your Start menu.  The Pageant icon will appear in your system tray at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Right click on this icon and select "Add Key"
  3. Select your private key that you saved in step 5 above.  The key is the PPK file.
  4. Follow the prompt to enter your passphrase.

Now you are ready to lauch your SFTP program such as Filezilla and connect to your project at using SFTP and SSH2 with your project username and an empty password.   Here is what you need to put in your sftp program:

  • Hostname =
  • Username = Your project name
  • Password = No need to enter the password
  • Port = 22

Filezilla has similar instructions here.

Keywords:cpanel cPanel SFTP Web hosting website   Doc ID:80346
Owner:Sandra T.Group:University of Illinois Engineering IT
Created:2018-02-21 16:31 CDTUpdated:2018-08-29 10:26 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Engineering IT
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