No Need for Dreamweaver on Ubuntu: Bluefish FTP

I installed Ubuntu on my main laptop (the ThinkPad Z61t), and I want to do some PHP development, so I looked into installing Dreamweaver on it. I have a student license for Studio 8. Most of the pages I pulled up with Google show that installing Dreamweaver 8 on Ubuntu is pretty easy. You can right-click the installer .exe and run it with WINE (after you install WINE, if necessary). I didn’t do it, but I’m impressed. Nowadays it’s getting easier and easier to use Linux. Unfortunately, wireless is still tricky. I did get WPA-PSK to work, but it was a little tricky, even on the latest version of Ubuntu. (But that’s another story.)

Anyway, I was also interested in finding a Linux alternative to Dreamweaver, and I found an editor called Bluefish. You can download it from the official Bluefish website, and it’s available for many platforms. It looks excellent, though I haven’t used it extensively yet (but here’s a good review of Bluefish). The thing I really wanted was the ability to edit remote files directly, as I did with Dreamweaver. Usually this is over FTP, but you can use other protocols like SFTP too.

It was hard to figure out how to directly open a remote file. Inside Bluefish, there’s an option that says “Open URL…” That’s not what you want. You actually want to use Ubuntu’s built-in Places to connect to your remote site. At the top, choose Places, then Connect to Server… Once the remote location is mounted, you can simply open files in Bluefish. Awesome! This is actually much better than the Windows way, IMHO, where you’d actually have to do your FTP settings inside of Dreamweaver instead of the OS. Thanks, Ubuntu/Bluefish!

10 thoughts on “No Need for Dreamweaver on Ubuntu: Bluefish FTP”

  1. i was searching for “ubuntu 8 install bluefish” after trying to install nvu again. well, your site was the 3rd link! you believe that? man, and i actually know you, ha. crazy, small world.

  2. I disagree on the BlueFish ftp being better than DW. The great thing about the DW FTP is that you can *simultaneously* have a local directory and a remote directory listed. When you are done coding/testing locally or in a remote testing environment you can upload to the FTP server with just a click. I’ve looked at nearly 20 apps just today and not a single one of them comes close to this, what I consider, essential, time-saving feature of DW. This one seemingly simple feature is all I ask from an HTML/PHP IDE…yet only one seems to have it. Would love to find an opensource option that does it, but for now it’s DW running in Wine….. :(

  3. thanks, that helped me choose bluefish. jedit is a good solution as well, but is slow and has somethimes a strange behaviour. it tool me some time to figure out where a ftp-server is mounted to. it’s in your home directory under .gvfs!

  4. Well, if you need FTP access which is more similar to what DW does try Quanta+. It’s expecially useful when working on big project on localhost, you can just tell Quanta to upload to your FTP whatever has been changed et voilà! Remote update done automagically :)

  5. Thanks dood. The bluefish interface was a little confusing at first, but after I read what you said about setting up a local location via ‘places’ it was easy as pie!!

  6. The final step that took me a minute to figure out was after setting up the FTP “Place” in Ubuntu’s Places menu was how to get that to show up Bluefish’s File Browser. You mentioned “mount” the FTP Location which is to click Places and go down and click on the FTP location. Then it just showed up.

    Thx! *ad-click*

  7. Just came across this while searching for something else and thought I’d throw in an update.

    For those looking at Dreamweaver in Linux? Have a good look at Aptana Studio 3!

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