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How to: Upload files to Amazon S3 with Firefox

Brett Batie, 04-15-2009

This short tutorial will explain how to upload a file to the Amazon S3 Web Service using a Firefox add-on. Before following the steps below, you will need to have Firefox installed and an Amazon S3 Web Service account. The following are the basic steps in this process:

  1. Install the Firefox Plugin
  2. Get the Amazon Access Key and Secret Key
  3. Login to the Amazon S3 Web Service
  4. Upload the File
  5. Set Permissions
  6. Get the URL

Install the Firefox Plugin

In order to add files to your Amazon S3 account, first you need to install software that will allow you to upload files to the Amazon S3 server. The software that we will be using for this tutorial is a Firefox plugin called "S3 Firefox Organizer". To download and install this software go to the Amazon S3 Firefox Organizer add-on page and click the "Add to Firefox" button. After installing the software, restart Firefox.

Get the Amazon Access Key and Secret Key

In order to allow the Firefox add-on to access your Amazon S3 account, the access key and secret key from Amazon are required. Simply login to the S3 account to obtain these keys. After logging in at the above link you should be viewing the "Access Identifiers" page (image right). Leave this page open as you will need to copy and paste the access key and secret key in the next step.

Login to the Amazon S3 Web Service

Now that the Firefox add-on is installed and you have the access key/secret key, you can login to the Amazon S3 Service and upload files. To login to the Amazon S3 Web Service go to Firefox and click toolsS3 Organizer in the file menu. This will open a new window and should give you a message stating that your login credentials are invalid, click "ok". Now click "Manage Accounts" and fill in your login credentials. The account name can be any name that will help you remember what account you are logging into, such as "My Account". The next two fields, "access key" and "secret key" need to be copied and pasted from the Amazon Web Service page in the previous step. After filling in the 3 fields click "Save" and "Close". After clicking "Close", the Firefox S3 add-on should automatically log you into your account. It will display your local files on the left-hand side of the screen and your Amazon S3 files and directories on the right-hand side of the screen.

Upload the File

Now that you are logged into your account, you just need to upload the file(s) to the Amazon S3 Web Service. First you must make a folder (aka bucket) to save the files in. To do this, right click on the right-hand side of the screen and click "Create Directory". After creating the directory, find the file you would like to upload on the left hand side of the screen, select the file and click the right arrow in the middle of the screen to upload the file.

Set Permissions

After the file has finished uploading, it is by default only viewable by your account. If you would like to make the file viewable by anyone, you will need to change the file permissions. This can be done in the S3 Firefox Organizer by right clicking on the file on the right-hand side of the screen and selecting edit acl. In order to make the file viewable by everyone, you will need to give everyone permission to read the file. Just click the X's to change the status. The screen should look like the image below when you are done.

Get the URL

The last step is to get the URL for the file that you have uploaded. In order to get the link, simply right click the file in the S3 Firefox Organizer and select copy url to clipboard. Now that you have the URL you can email it to others or place it on a website. This will give others access to your file that you have now stored on Amazon S3.

Congratulations and Welcome to the cloud!

Andy, 04-15-2009
I always enjoy learning what other people think about Amazon Web Services and how they use them. If you want to manage Amazon S3 accounts on Windows check out CloudBerry Explorer that helps to manage S3 on Windows . It is a freeware.
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