SecureFX® FAQ

SecureFX® FAQ

Select by category

Can SecureFX be exported outside of the United States?

Yes, in most cases. SecureFX and SecureCRT® are now available for export under U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security regulations governing strong encryption software. Import restrictions by other countries may also affect encryption software availability. For more information, please see our web page on Exporting Encryption Software.

Why do I receive an "Invalid key" message when entering my registration data?

There are several things that you need to be aware of when entering the license information into the License Data dialog.

The Name, Company, Serial Number, License Key, and Issue Date fields must be entered exactly as shown in the registration notice (case is important). For example, the Expiration field should be "Never" as opposed to "never".

The key is made up of the letters A to F and the digits 0 to 9, so make sure that no letter "O"s have been entered in place of a "0" digit. We recommend using CTRL+V to paste the data into the license dialog (you can usually use CTRL+C to copy). Also, after you have entered the data into the fields, make sure that no leading or trailing blanks are present.

If you still get the "Invalid key" message after entering the registration data, exit out of SecureFX® and start over.

If this does not resolve the problem, please contact us.

Do I need to uninstall my old installation before upgrading?

No, you do not have to remove your old installation; the new version can be installed right over the existing files without losing your current configuration.

Will my SecureFX® license keys work on the Mac OS X and Linux versions?

SecureFX licenses are not currently platform-specific, but the license usage restrictions set forth in section three (3) of the End User License Agreement still apply:

3. USE AND EVALUATION PERIOD. You may use one copy of this Software on one client computer. For the purposes of this agreement, "computer" means a physical device or a virtual machine. A copy of this Software is considered "in use" when loaded into main memory (i.e., RAM). You may also use a copy of the Software on one additional computer, provided you make certain only one copy of the Software is "in use" at a time. You may use an evaluation copy of the Software for only thirty (30) days in order to determine whether to purchase the Software.

If SecureFX is only running on one machine at any given time, then a SecureFX license can legally be used to register SecureFX on one (1) secondary Windows/Mac/Linux machine.

However, if SecureFX needs to be running on multiple machines at the same time ever, a separate SecureFX license must be purchased for each machine (regardless of OS platform).

Note: This usage policy is governed by the current license agreement for SecureFX and is subject to change in future releases of SecureFX.

The Upgrade Eligibility page shows what versions your license keys will work for.

If you need to purchase a new SecureFX license to use the Mac OS X or Linux version, go to the Buy Direct page.

Why doesn't the lock icon appear in the session window status bar when the connection is secure? (Windows version only)

Icons may not display correctly on systems that do not have the latest common control DLLs. Toolbars or tool tips may appear white for the same reason.

This problem can usually be corrected by downloading the latest version of the common control DLLs from the following location:

http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/ieplatform/ie/comctrlx86.asp

You should download the version of the DLLs that corresponds to the version of Internet Explorer that is installed on your system.

Why do my toolbars or tooltips appear white or do not display? (Windows version only)

Toolbars may appear white and/or tool tips may not display on systems that do not have the latest common control DLLs. The latest version of the common control DLLs may be downloaded from the following location:

http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/ieplatform/ie/comctrlx86.asp

You should download the version of the DLLs that corresponds to the version of Internet Explorer that is installed on your system.

Although I have the global option "Upload when file is saved in the editor" set, the file doesn't get uploaded when I save it. Why?

Some editors, such as Microsoft Word, lock the file so that it cannot be read by other applications while it is being edited. In these cases, SecureFX has to wait until the file is closed before it can be uploaded.

How do I get SecureCRT® and SecureFX to share the host key database? (Windows versions only)

If you are installing SecureCRT 4.1 or later and SecureFX 2.2 or later on a machine that has never had SecureCRT or SecureFX installed on it, they will automatically share the host key database.

How can I make SecureFX the default FTP or SFTP application? (Windows version only)

To set up SecureFX for Windows as your default SFTP application, make the following changes in your registry.

  1. Open regedit and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\telnet.
  2. Export this branch to a registry file by selecting "Export" from the File menu. Be sure to choose "Selected branch" as the "Export range" option.
  3. Edit the .reg file and replace every instance of "telnet" with "sftp".
  4. If the key KEY_CLASSES_ROOT\telnet\shell\open\command is not in the .reg file, manually add the following lines to the end of the file.
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\sftp\shell\open\command]
    @="\"C:\\Program Files\\SecureFX\\SecureFX.exe\" %1"

    If SecureFX is installed to a location different than what is shown above, the path should be modified to reflect the actual location of the SecureFX.exe file on your system. Be sure to use double-backslashes "\\" for every "\" within the path to SecureFX.exe.
  5. After saving the registry file, double click on it to import it to the registry.

You will now be able to start SecureFX from your web browser by typing "sftp://<hostname>" or by inserting that link in a web page.

How do I move my SecureFX® for Windows sessions and settings to other machines and/or platforms?

The instructions below describe how to move your sessions and settings from Windows to Mac or Linux machines and vice versa. SecureFX 7.3 and newer includes an import/export tool that makes it easier to create a backup or copy SecureFX settings from one machine to another.

SecureFX 7.3 and newer

  1. Install SecureFX on the destination machine.
  2. On the source machine, run SecureFX and select Export Settings from the Tools menu. Choose the folder location and specify a name for the XML file that will be created (e.g., SFXConfig.xml).
  3. Copy the file created in Step 2 to the destination machine.
  4. On the destination machine, run SecureFX and select Import Settings from the Tools menu.
  5. In the Import from file box, select the XML file from Step 3.

SecureFX 7.2 and earlier

  1. Install SecureFX on the destination computer.
  2. On the destination computer, open the Global Options dialog, select the General category, and note the Configuration folder location.
  3. On the source computer, open the Global Options dialog, select the General category, and note the Configuration folder location. The Configuration folder is set the first time SecureFX is run after installation.
  4. Close all instances of SecureFX on both the source and the destination computers.
  5. Copy the contents (including sub-folders) of the Configuration folder on the source computer to the Configuration folder on the destination computer.

Note: Most session and setting information is used the same way on all platforms. The following are some settings which are not:

  • Local folder locations need to be modified: host key database, identity, download, and logging.
  • Custom menus and toolbars are currently only supported on Windows.

Do I need an SSH client like SecureCRT to do secure file transfer with SecureFX?

No. SecureFX provides both SSH2 and FTP protocol support in one application. SecureFX supports FTP and SFTP. Generally all that is required to configure SecureFX for an SFTP connection is an SSH2 server at the remote site.

Why doesn't the lock icon appear in the session window status bar when the connection is secure? (Windows version only)

Icons may not display correctly on systems that do not have the latest common control DLLs. Toolbars or tool tips may appear white for the same reason.

This problem can usually be corrected by downloading the latest version of the common control DLLs from the following location:

http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/ieplatform/ie/comctrlx86.asp

You should download the version of the DLLs that corresponds to the version of Internet Explorer that is installed on your system.

What's the difference between SFTP and FTP over SSH2?

In an SFTP transfer, the SSH2 server both encrypts the data and handles the file transfer itself. This is true for VShell® as well as OpenSSH and other UNIX or Linux servers. FTP over SSH2 uses the port forwarding capabilities of SSH2 to forward standard FTP over an encrypted tunnel, while the actual FTP file transfer is handled by a separate FTP server.

As of version 3.0, only SFTP is supported. If you need FTP over SSH2, please contact us.

Is SSH 3.0 the same as SSH3?

No. SSH 3.0 refers to version 3 of SSH Communications' SSH2 protocol implementation (OpenSSH also has a version 3.0 of its SSH2 software that might be referred to in this manner). The "3" refers to the software release version not the protocol version. As of this writing, there is no SSH3 protocol.

VanDyke Software's VShell, SecureCRT, and SecureFX products support the SSH2 protocol and will work with the SSH Communications 3.0 and OpenSSH 3.0 servers and clients.

How do I set up SecureFX® to work with the Microsoft Proxy Server?

For the SSH and FTP protocols to pass through the Microsoft Proxy Server requires either the WinSock proxy client (Windows version only) on your machine or the SOCKS proxy protocol to be installed on the server. Check with your system administrator for information about which of these two methods to use.

If you are using the WinSock proxy client (Windows only version), the proxy will appear transparent to you, and no special SecureFX configuration is required. Make sure that SecureFX's firewall type on the Global Configuration/Firewall tab is set to "None."

If the server has SOCKS installed, select the "SOCKS version 4" firewall type. Enter the IP address of the Microsoft Proxy Server and the port it is using (usually 1080).

Why do my toolbars or tooltips appear white or do not display? (Windows version only)

Toolbars may appear white and/or tool tips may not display on systems that do not have the latest common control DLLs. The latest version of the common control DLLs may be downloaded from the following location:

http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/ieplatform/ie/comctrlx86.asp

You should download the version of the DLLs that corresponds to the version of Internet Explorer that is installed on your system.

How do I move my SecureFX session database to a different machine?

The following steps describe how to copy your SecureFX session database to another machine.

Note: This information is specific to copying the entire session database from an old machine to a new machine. If you have created sessions on the new machine that you didn’t have on the old machine, the new sessions will be deleted. A number of paths (host key database, download/upload folder, etc.) are platform-specific, and may need to be modified after copying a configuration from one platform to another.

  1. Install SecureFX on the new machine.
  2. Determine the location of the SecureFX configuration folder on your new machine.  To do this, start SecureFX on your new machine, open the main Options pull-down menu and make note of the Configuration folder field found in the General category of the Global Options window as in the examples shown below.
Example of Global Options in SecureFX for Windows showing configuration folder location. Example of Global Options in SecureFX for Linux showing configuration folder location.
  1. Determine the location of the SecureFX configuration folder on the old machine. To do this, start SecureFX on the old machine, and find the Configuration folder value in the Global Options window as shown above (but this time, on the old machine).
  2. Copy the configuration folder from the old machine to the location of the configuration folder on the new machine (as identified in step 2 above), replacing the existing configuration folder on the new machine.

    Note: Any new sessions you have created on the new machine will be deleted when you replace the Config folder on the new machine.
Example: Copying SecureFX for Linux configuration files from old machine to a USB drive Example: Copying SecureFX configuration files from a USB drive to new machine running SecureFX for Windows

If you're interested in simply merging individual sessions, you'll need to copy them from the Sessions folder on the old machine to the Sessions folder on the new machine, deciding for yourself what to do if a session of the same name already exists on the new machine.

For more information about the way session configurations are stored in SecureCRT, visit the VanDyke Software YouTube channel and watch the video titled, Sessions: 2) The Default Session.

I can't get dot files to show. I turned on "Dot Files" in the "View" menu and unchecked "Do not show dot files" in the "Global Configuration/View" category, but it didn't help. Is there something on our FTP server that's keeping this feature from working?

The Dot Files option in the View menu shows or hides dot files that have been returned in the file listing. However, some FTP servers do not return the dot files in the file listing by default. To make the FTP server return the dot files in the file:

  1. In the Connect dialog, right-click on the session name and choose the Properties option.
  2. Select the Connection/FTP category or the Options/FTP in versions of SecureFX prior to 3.0.
  3. In the Directory listing options group, check the All entries check box.
  4. Click on the OK button to save your settings.

This should cause the FTP server to return dot files in the file listing. Toggling the Dot files option in the View menu will now show or hide the files.

How can I make SecureFX the default FTP or SFTP application? (Windows version only)

To set up SecureFX for Windows as your default SFTP application, make the following changes in your registry.

  1. Open regedit and navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\telnet.
  2. Export this branch to a registry file by selecting "Export" from the File menu. Be sure to choose "Selected branch" as the "Export range" option.
  3. Edit the .reg file and replace every instance of "telnet" with "sftp".
  4. If the key KEY_CLASSES_ROOT\telnet\shell\open\command is not in the .reg file, manually add the following lines to the end of the file.
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\sftp\shell\open\command]
    @="\"C:\\Program Files\\SecureFX\\SecureFX.exe\" %1"

    If SecureFX is installed to a location different than what is shown above, the path should be modified to reflect the actual location of the SecureFX.exe file on your system. Be sure to use double-backslashes "\\" for every "\" within the path to SecureFX.exe.
  5. After saving the registry file, double click on it to import it to the registry.

You will now be able to start SecureFX from your web browser by typing "sftp://<hostname>" or by inserting that link in a web page.

In the Mac version of SecureFX®, I would like to select an identity file in the .ssh folder. How can I see hidden folders and files in the file selection dialog?

To temporarily see hidden folders and files in a file section dialog, press the COMMAND+SHIFT+. key combination.

Can I schedule or automate file transfers with SecureFX? (Windows version only)

The Windows version of SecureFX 2.0 and later provides command-line support with the included Sfxcl.exe tool. Combined with public-key-only authentication, it is now possible to automate secure, unattended file transfer operations.

For more information on using Sfxcl.exe to automate secure file transfer operations, please see our SFXCL Command-Line Tool FAQ page and the SFXCL Automation Guide.

If you're using SecureFX® 8.0 or newer, a connection attempt to a server that supports only Diffie-Hellman key exchange can result in the following error:

Key exchange failed.
No compatible key exchange method. The server supports these methods: diffie-hellman

In SecureFX 8.0 and later, the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange method is off by default because of the Logjam vulnerability. For the security-minded professional, Diffie-Hellman should be left disabled, and SSH2 server implementation should be upgraded or configured to support a more secure key exchange algorithm.

Diffie-Hellman should only be enabled in rare circumstances where the device to which you are connecting does not support a more secure key-exchange algorithm, and where upgrading the SSH2 server implementation isn't an option.

If you must enable the Diffie-Hellman key-exchange method to successfully connect to a legacy server that has no possibility (or low probability) of supporting more secure key-exchange algorithms, you can configure SecureFX accordingly.  Here are instructions for allowing a session to use this deprecated key-exchange method:

  1. Open the Session Options dialog for the session that needs to use Diffie-Hellman key exchange.
  2. Select the Connection/SSH2 category.
  3. In the Key exchange group, enable "diffie-hellman".
  4. Press OK to save the session.

Four Fast Ways to Learn More…

  1. Read or download one of our secure solutions white papers.
  2. Download a free 30-day evaluation copy of our products.
  3. Let us help define the right Secure Shell solution for your company.
  4. Subscribe to our What's New page for tips, solution ideas, and product news.