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Monsta, Web FTP file manager in PHP Ajax

monsta web ftp logo

Few days ago, I wrote an article on net2ftp, a web based FTP file manager letting you upload, download and manage all your file on your FTP. With a simple design and easy to install, net2ftp is still widely used. But if you are looking for some a bit more advanced, Monsta is probably what you are looking for.


Monsta - file manager upload

Monsta is an open source web based FTP file manager written in PHP and Ajax. Easy to install too, it lets you upload, download and manage your file in an easy way too. With drag & drop to upload or move, on screen file editing and multi language support, Monsta can replace your desktop FTP software like Filezilla and co. And Monsta is not afraid to claim it! “Say goodbye to desktop FTP software, forever!”

Monsta - set file permission

You can watch a demo here to let you have some idea on the product. Interested? Let’s see how to install it:



1) Download and unzip their latest zip in a dedicated folder of your /var/www

Currently, their latest version is the V1.4.5. But make sure you download the latest one.

In root (or with sudo), run:

2) Change the owner of the folder (by www-data:www-data) to avoid permission issues.

And you’re good to go!

You can directly access it through http://yourIP/monsta

Monsta - login screenshot

You may encounter several problems, especially on the execution time to upload or number of files to upload, etc… you can check their forum or FAQ but all these issues are usually linked to your php.ini configuration. To increase the php value for the size of the upload, execution time, etc.. I recommend you to set up a dedicated virtualhost (And using a sub domain + SSL, meanwhile) and here is how to:


Virtualhost configuration

Let’s assume you want to access to your newly installed monsta through the URL ftp.domain.tld

What you will need:

1) Create a A redirection in your DNS server/registrar with wiki.domain.tld to your IP

2) Have SSL certificate ready. If not you can read this tutorial. (Optional)

3) Create your virtualhost as following:

In /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/, create a file called monsta (In root):

and paste the following content:

Adapt the content (Servername, webmaster email, SSL certificate, directory and php values).

When done, save the file (CTRL+X then Yes) and reload apache: (In root)

If everything went well, you should now be able to access to your Monsta Web FTP through the url ftp.domain.tld. It should redirect you to the HTTPS version.

Net2FTP, web based FTP client

Using a FTP nowadays is not as popular as it was before, with all the younameit-box type (Dropbox, Google docs, etc..), less and less people use a FTP to share files. Especially it requires a FTP client (Like Filezilla and others) and needs usually the port 22 to be open.

But if you still use one, you could be interested to have a web based FTP.

Net2FTP is probably the most popular one.

net2ftp login page

OpenSource, net2ftp allows you to navigate through your FTP server, upload/download files, edit files, view directly the code with syntax highlighting. Also, on top of allowing you to copy/move/delete to 2nd FTP server, net2ftp let you rename, chmod (recursively) zip/unzip your files on your FTP server.

A search feature is also there to help you find your files based on name but also with specific filter like size, file type and modification date.You can give it a try on their official page. But not that although it is a trusted app, there is no guarantee that no info is being kept from their online service. So the best is still to install it on your own server and here is how to do it!Their V1 is a bit old now (2013) but still works like a charm and is damn easy to install!

net2ftp browse FTP file


You only need a Web server and PHP and can install net2ftp on a different machine than the FTP server if you want.

1) Download their full version (With all the plugins) into your /var/www

In root, (or sudo), run:

2) Unzip the archive and move the “files to upload” to the root of your /var/www

3) Change the owner of the folder (by www-data:www-data) to avoid permission issues.

And you’re good to go!

You can directly access it through http://yourIP/net2ftp.


Optional configuration

Although net2ftp should work out of the box, you can still tweak few things to improve your or your users’ experience.

The configuration file is called (and is quite self explanatory) and you could be willing to modify:

– Email address (The “from” email address when sending attachment);

– Password for admin panel;

– Message on browse screen;

– Set a MySQL database to records Net2FTP activity;

– Max file size to upload (10mb per default) – Note that you will also need to adjust your php.ini or set upload_max_filesize value option in your virtualhost.

You should now be all set!

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