Using Transmit 4 for macOS with DigitalOcean Spaces

Spaces Object Storage is an S3-compatible object storage service. Spaces buckets let you store and serve large amounts of data, and the built-in CDN minimizes page load times and improves performance.

Transmit is a macOS-only file transfer utility developed by Panic, Inc.. It handles a wide variety of server types including FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and S3-compatible servers.


To use Transmit, you need:

Connect to Spaces

Launch the Transmit application by clicking on its icon in the dock, or double-clicking its icon in your Applications folder. Transmit opens and displays a window with your local filesystem on the left, and an FTP connection pane on the right:

Transmit default interface

At the top of the right-hand pane, Transmit 4 lists the different types of connections it supports, FTP, SFTP, S3, and WebDAV.

Click on S3 to bring up the form for connecting to an S3-compatible server and fill in the following details:

  • Server: this should be the DigitalOcean datacenter region (nyc3, ams3, etc.) followed by This tutorial uses
  • Access Key ID: your-access-key
  • Secret: your-secret-key
  • Initial Path: leave this blank to open a list of all your NYC3 buckets when you connect, or add the name of a pre-existing bucket here to navigate directly to it when connecting

Click the blue Connect button to connect to Spaces. Transmit connects, then displays a list of your buckets (if you left the Initial Path option blank):

Screenshot of default listing

If you have not yet created a bucket, this is empty.

Create a New Bucket

To create a new bucket with Transmit 4, first move to the root directory where all your buckets are listed. You can do this by clicking the / slash all the way on the left of the breadcrumb trail at the top of the right-hand pane:

Transmit directory breadcrumb trail with root highlighted

Once you’ve done that, click on the Action menu in the toolbar (it has a gear-shaped icon), then choose New Bucket….

A window opens, asking for a bucket name and location.

Transmit new bucket creation dialog

Choose any name that fits the guidelines mentioned in the dialog. Leave the default Location value. Click Create and your new bucket is created and added to the list.

Bucket names must be unique across all regions, so if your name is already in use anywhere on, Transmit gives you an error. If this happens, try another name.

Upload Files to Spaces

Double-click on the folder that represents your bucket. This opens it and lists its contents in the right-hand pane:

Screenshot of Space contents

To upload a file, first navigate through your local filesystem using the left-hand side of the Transmit window, then click and drag the file from the left-hand pane to the right. It copies over to your bucket and shows up in the directory listing on the right-hand side. You can also drag and drop files directly from the macOS Finder.

Adjust File Permissions

In the right-hand pane, after navigating to your bucket, click once on a file you’d like to view. This selects the file. Then click on the Action menu in the toolbar:

Transmit selected 'Copy URL' option in the 'Action' menu

To change the permissions on your file, select Get Info from the Action menu. A window opens with more details about the file, including its size, location, kind, and Read and Write permissions:

Transmit 'Get Info' window

Use the dropdown menu next to Read: to change the setting, then click the Apply button at the bottom of the info window:

Transmit 'Get Info' window with 'Read' permissions set to 'World'

Transmit updates the permissions on the file.

More Information

To learn more about other Transmit features that could help integrate Spaces into your macOS-based workflow, visit Panic’s Transmit Documentation Library.