FileZilla is an excellent bit of software that I’ve been using (and recommending) for many years. Today, that changed.
The Problem: ENETUNREACH – Network unreachable
A few months ago at the web host I work for, we started seeing problems with folks who were using FileZilla. Being on a slow network connection at the time, I’d neglected to upgrade my FileZilla installation from 3.10.x to the current 3.12.x. I could never duplicate the problem, and I figured it was likely a bug in the newer version of FileZilla.
Today I needed to do a task that required FTP on an older server, and when I fired up FileZilla, it nagged me to upgrade. Being on a fast connection now, I upgraded. I immediately regretted this. Instead of being greeted with an FTP session, I tried to log in and got:
Error: The data connection could not be established: ENETUNREACH - Network unreachable Error: Connection timed out after 20 seconds of inactivity Error: Failed to retrieve directory listing
Wait- what? So I tested it from the command line. It worked. Could it be that the update is broken this badly? A quick Google search for “Error: The data connection could not be established: ENETUNREACH” (with quotes) brought me to This Thread on FileZilla’s forum.
As I read through it, I recognized that the folks posting there were having the same problem I did. Rolling back to an earlier version of the program worked, but the latest installation version did not, and it produced “Error: The data connection could not be established: ENETUNREACH – Network unreachable”.
It Gets Worse
I’m not normally a judgmental person regarding software and developers, but “botg” (the creator of FileZilla and curator of the forum) was nothing but rude and downright combative about the problem. It seems he’s more interested in blaming firewall software than in making his software work properly. Perhaps he’s right- I’m not an FTP expert, and he apparently is. He does have some good points about Kaspersky’s Firewall (which I have disabled). But that does not make his approach to the problem a correct one. It’s clear he doesn’t intend to fix it.
The Easy Fix
I’ve switched to WinSCP, and it worked immediately and even imported my FileZilla connection data which was quite handy. Perhaps you’ll want to do the same. Hopefully the FileZilla Devs will get their head on straight and manage to work around the problem like everyone else has. It’s a shame to see a good project go sideways like this.