ftp -- Internet file transfer program BSD Version
ftp [-46AadefginpRtvV] [-N netrc] [-o output] [-P port] [-q quittime] [-s srcaddr] [-r retry] [-T dir,max[,inc]]
[[user@]host [port]] [[user@]host:[path][/]] [file:///path] [ftp://[user[:password]@]host[:port]/path[/][;type=X]]
ftp -u URL file [...]
ftp is the user interface to the Internet standard File Transfer Protocol. The program allows a user to transfer files
to and from a remote network site.
The last five arguments will fetch a file using the FTP or HTTP protocols, or by direct copying, into the current direc-
tory. This is ideal for scripts. Refer to AUTO-FETCHING FILES below for more information.
Options may be specified at the command line, or to the command interpreter.
-4 Forces ftp to only use IPv4 addresses.
-6 Forces ftp to only use IPv6 addresses.
-A Force active mode ftp. By default, ftp will try to use passive mode ftp and fall back to active mode if pas-
sive is not supported by the server. This option causes ftp to always use an active connection. It is only
useful for connecting to very old servers that do not implement passive mode properly.
-a Causes ftp to bypass normal login procedure, and use an anonymous login instead.
-d Enables debugging.
-e Disables command line editing. This is useful for Emacs ange-ftp mode.
-f Forces a cache reload for transfers that go through the FTP or HTTP proxies.
-g Disables file name globbing.
-i Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file transfers.
-n Restrains ftp from attempting ``auto-login'' upon initial connection for non auto-fetch transfers. If auto-
login is enabled, ftp will check the .netrc (see below) file in the user's home directory for an entry
describing an account on the remote machine. If no entry exists, ftp will prompt for the remote machine
login name (default is the user identity on the local machine), and, if necessary, prompt for a password and
an account with which to login. To override the auto-login for auto-fetch transfers, specify the username
(and optionally, password) as appropriate.
-N netrc Use netrc instead of ~/.netrc. Refer to THE .netrc FILE for more information.
-o output When auto-fetching files, save the contents in output. output is parsed according to the FILE NAMING
CONVENTIONS below. If output is not `-' or doesn't start with `|', then only the first file specified will
be retrieved into output; all other files will be retrieved into the basename of their remote name.
-p Enable passive mode operation for use behind connection filtering firewalls. This option has been deprecated
as ftp now tries to use passive mode by default, falling back to active mode if the server does not support
-P port Sets the port number to port.
-q quittime Quit if the connection has stalled for quittime seconds.
-r wait Retry the connection attempt if it failed, pausing for wait seconds.
-R Restart all non-proxied auto-fetches.
-s srcaddr Uses srcaddr as the local IP address for all connections.
-t Enables packet tracing.
Set the maximum transfer rate for direction to maximum bytes/second, and if specified, the increment to
increment bytes/second. Refer to rate for more information.
-u URL file [...]
Upload files on the command line to URL where URL is one of the ftp URL types as supported by auto-fetch
(with an optional target filename for single file uploads), and file is one or more local files to be uploaded.
-v Enable verbose and progress. This is the default if output is to a terminal (and in the case of progress,
ftp is the foreground process). Forces ftp to show all responses from the remote server, as well as report
on data transfer statistics.
-V Disable verbose and progress, overriding the default of enabled when output is to a terminal.
The client host with which ftp is to communicate may be specified on the command line. If this is done, ftp will immedi-
ately attempt to establish a connection to an FTP server on that host; otherwise, ftp will enter its command interpreter
and await instructions from the user. When ftp is awaiting commands from the user the prompt `ftp>' is provided to the
user. The following commands are recognized by ftp:
! [command [args]]
Invoke an interactive shell on the local machine. If there are arguments, the first is taken to be a command
to execute directly, with the rest of the arguments as its arguments.
$ macro-name [args]
Execute the macro macro-name that was defined with the macdef command. Arguments are passed to the macro
Supply a supplemental password required by a remote system for access to resources once a login has been suc-
cessfully completed. If no argument is included, the user will be prompted for an account password in a non-
echoing input mode.
append local-file [remote-file]
Append a local file to a file on the remote machine. If remote-file is left unspecified, the local file name
is used in naming the remote file after being altered by any ntrans or nmap setting. File transfer uses the
current settings for type, format, mode, and structure.
bell Arrange that a bell be sounded after each file transfer command is completed.
ascii Set the file transfer type to network ASCII. This is the default type.
binary Set the file transfer type to support binary image transfer.
tenex Set the file transfer type to that needed to talk to TENEX machines.
case Toggle remote computer file name case mapping during get, mget and mput commands. When case is on (default
is off), remote computer file names with all letters in upper case are written in the local directory with
the letters mapped to lower case.
Change the working directory on the remote machine to remote-directory.
cdup Change the remote machine working directory to the parent of the current remote machine working directory.
chmod mode remote-file
Change the permission modes of the file remote-file on the remote system to mode.
bye,exit,quit Terminate the FTP session with the remote server and exit ftp. An end of file will also terminate the session and exit.
close Terminate the FTP session with the remote server, and return to the command interpreter. Any defined macros are erased.
cr Toggle carriage return stripping during ascii type file retrieval. Records are denoted by a carriage
return/linefeed sequence during ascii type file transfer. When cr is on (the default), carriage returns are
stripped from this sequence to conform with the UNIX single linefeed record delimiter. Records on non-UNIX
remote systems may contain single linefeeds; when an ascii type transfer is made, these linefeeds may be dis-
tinguished from a record delimiter only when cr is off.
Toggle debugging mode. If an optional ftp_debug-value is specified it is used to set the debugging level.
When debugging is on, ftp prints each command sent to the remote machine, preceded by the string `-->'
delete remote-file Delete the file remote-file on the remote machine.
dir [remote-path [local-file]]
Print a listing of the contents of a directory on the remote machine. The listing includes any system-depen-
dent information that the server chooses to include; for example, most UNIX systems will produce output from
the command `ls -l'. If remote-path is left unspecified, the current working directory is used. If interac-
tive prompting is on, ftp will prompt the user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local
file for receiving dir output. If no local file is specified, or if local-file is `-', the output is sent to
disconnect A synonym for close.
edit Toggle command line editing, and context sensitive command and file completion. This is automatically
enabled if input is from a terminal, and disabled otherwise.
epsv4 Toggle the use of the extended EPSV and EPRT commands on IPv4 connections; first try EPSV / EPRT, and then
PASV / PORT. This is enabled by default. If an extended command fails then this option will be temporarily
disabled for the duration of the current connection, or until epsv4 is executed again.
features Display what features the remote server supports (using the FEAT command).
fget localfile Retrieve the files listed in localfile, which has one line per filename.
form format Set the file transfer form to format. The default (and only supported) format is ``non-print''.
gate [host [port]]
Toggle gate-ftp mode, which used to connect through the TIS FWTK and Gauntlet ftp proxies. This will not be
permitted if the gate-ftp server hasn't been set (either explicitly by the user, or from the FTPSERVER envi-
ronment variable). If host is given, then gate-ftp mode will be enabled, and the gate-ftp server will be set
to host. If port is also given, that will be used as the port to connect to on the gate-ftp server.
get remote-file [local-file]
Retrieve the remote-file and store it on the local machine. If the local file name is not specified, it is
given the same name it has on the remote machine, subject to alteration by the current case, ntrans, and nmap
settings. The current settings for type, form, mode, and structure are used while transferring the file.
glob Toggle filename expansion for mdelete, mget, mput, and mreget. If globbing is turned off with glob, the file
name arguments are taken literally and not expanded. Globbing for mput is done as in csh(1). For mdelete,
mget, and mreget, each remote file name is expanded separately on the remote machine and the lists are not
merged. Expansion of a directory name is likely to be different from expansion of the name of an ordinary
file: the exact result depends on the foreign operating system and ftp server, and can be previewed by doing
`mls remote-files -' Note: mget, mput and mreget are not meant to transfer entire directory subtrees of
files. That can be done by transferring a tar(1) archive of the subtree (in binary mode).
hash [size] Toggle hash-sign (`#') printing for each data block transferred. The size of a data block defaults to 1024
bytes. This can be changed by specifying size in bytes. Enabling hash disables progress.
help [command] Print an informative message about the meaning of command. If no argument is given, ftp prints a list of the
idle [seconds] Set the inactivity timer on the remote server to seconds seconds. If seconds is omitted, the current inactivity timer is printed.
image A synonym for binary.
lcd [directory] Change the working directory on the local machine. If no directory is specified, the user's home directory is used.
less file A synonym for page.
Display local-file with the program specified by the set pager option.
lpwd Print the working directory on the local machine.
ls [remote-path [local-file]] A synonym for dir.
Define a macro. Subsequent lines are stored as the macro macro-name; a null line (consecutive newline char-
acters in a file or carriage returns from the terminal) terminates macro input mode. There is a limit of 16
macros and 4096 total characters in all defined macros. Macro names can be a maximum of 8 characters.
Macros are only applicable to the current session they are defined within (or if defined outside a session,
to the session invoked with the next open command), and remain defined until a close command is executed. To
invoke a macro, use the $ command (see above).
The macro processor interprets `$' and `\' as special characters. A `$' followed by a number (or numbers) is
replaced by the corresponding argument on the macro invocation command line. A `$' followed by an `i' sig-
nals the macro processor that the executing macro is to be looped. On the first pass ``$i'' is replaced by
the first argument on the macro invocation command line, on the second pass it is replaced by the second
argument, and so on. A `\' followed by any character is replaced by that character. Use the `\' to prevent
special treatment of the `$'.
Delete the remote-files on the remote machine.
mdir remote-files local-file
Like dir, except multiple remote files may be specified. If interactive prompting is on, ftp will prompt the
user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving mdir output.
Expand the remote-files on the remote machine and do a get for each file name thus produced. See glob for
details on the filename expansion. Resulting file names will then be processed according to case, ntrans,
and nmap settings. Files are transferred into the local working directory, which can be changed with `lcd
directory'; new local directories can be created with `! mkdir directory'.
Make a directory on the remote machine.
mls remote-files local-file
Like ls, except multiple remote files may be specified, and the local-file must be specified. If interactive
prompting is on, ftp will prompt the user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file
for receiving mls output.
Display the contents of remote-path (which should default to the current directory if not given) in a
machine-parsable form, using MLSD. The format of display can be changed with `remopts mlst ...'.
Display the details about remote-path (which should default to the current directory if not given) in a
machine-parsable form, using MLST. The format of display can be changed with `remopts mlst ...'.
Set the file transfer mode to mode-name. The default (and only supported) mode is ``stream''.
Show the last modification time of the file on the remote machine, in RFC2822 format.
more file A synonym for page.
Expand wild cards in the list of local files given as arguments and do a put for each file in the resulting
list. See glob for details of filename expansion. Resulting file names will then be processed according to
ntrans and nmap settings.
As per mget, but performs a reget instead of get.
A synonym for mput.
newer remote-file [local-file]
Get the file only if the modification time of the remote file is more recent that the file on the current
system. If the file does not exist on the current system, the remote file is considered newer. Otherwise,
this command is identical to get.
nlist [remote-path [local-file]]
A synonym for ls.
nmap [inpattern outpattern]
Set or unset the filename mapping mechanism. If no arguments are specified, the filename mapping mechanism
is unset. If arguments are specified, remote filenames are mapped during mput commands and put commands
issued without a specified remote target filename. If arguments are specified, local filenames are mapped
during mget commands and get commands issued without a specified local target filename. This command is use-
ful when connecting to a non-UNIX remote computer with different file naming conventions or practices. The
mapping follows the pattern set by inpattern and outpattern. [Inpattern] is a template for incoming file-
names (which may have already been processed according to the ntrans and case settings). Variable templating
is accomplished by including the sequences ``$1'', ``$2'', ... ``$9'' in inpattern. Use `\' to prevent this
special treatment of the `$' character. All other characters are treated literally, and are used to deter-
mine the nmap [inpattern] variable values. For example, given inpattern $1.$2 and the remote file name
"mydata.data", $1 would have the value "mydata", and $2 would have the value "data". The outpattern deter-
mines the resulting mapped filename. The sequences ``$1'', ``$2'', ... ``$9'' are replaced by any value
resulting from the inpattern template. The sequence ``$0'' is replaced by the original filename. Addition-
ally, the sequence ``[seq1, seq2]'' is replaced by [seq1] if seq1 is not a null string; otherwise it is
replaced by seq2. For example, the command
nmap $1.$2.$3 [$1,$2].[$2,file]
would yield the output filename "myfile.data" for input filenames "myfile.data" and "myfile.data.old",
"myfile.file" for the input filename "myfile", and "myfile.myfile" for the input filename ".myfile". Spaces
may be included in outpattern, as in the example:
nmap $1 sed s/ *$// > $1
Use the `\' character to prevent special treatment of the `$', `[', `]', and `,' characters.
ntrans [inchars [outchars]]
Set or unset the filename character translation mechanism. If no arguments are specified, the filename char-
acter translation mechanism is unset. If arguments are specified, characters in remote filenames are trans-
lated during mput commands and put commands issued without a specified remote target filename. If arguments
are specified, characters in local filenames are translated during mget commands and get commands issued
without a specified local target filename. This command is useful when connecting to a non-UNIX remote com-
puter with different file naming conventions or practices. Characters in a filename matching a character in
inchars are replaced with the corresponding character in outchars. If the character's position in inchars is
longer than the length of outchars, the character is deleted from the file name.
ftp host [port] A synonym for open.
open host [port]
Establish a connection to the specified host FTP server. An optional port number may be supplied, in which
case, ftp will attempt to contact an FTP server at that port. If the set auto-login option is on (default),
ftp will also attempt to automatically log the user in to the FTP server (see below).
Toggle passive mode (if no arguments are given). If auto is given, act as if FTPMODE is set to `auto'. If
passive mode is turned on (default), ftp will send a PASV command for all data connections instead of a PORT
command. The PASV command requests that the remote server open a port for the data connection and return the
address of that port. The remote server listens on that port and the client connects to it. When using the
more traditional PORT command, the client listens on a port and sends that address to the remote server, who
connects back to it. Passive mode is useful when using ftp through a gateway router or host that controls
the directionality of traffic. (Note that though FTP servers are required to support the PASV command by
RFC1123, some do not.)
page file Retrieve file and display with the program specified by the set pager option.
pdir [remote-path] Perform dir [remote-path], and display the result with the program specified by the set pager option.
pls [remote-path] Perform ls [remote-path], and display the result with the program specified by the set pager option.
pmlsd [remote-path] Perform mlsd [remote-path], and display the result with the program specified by the set pager option.
preserve Toggle preservation of modification times on retrieved files.
progress Toggle display of transfer progress bar. The progress bar will be disabled for a transfer that has
local-file as `-' or a command that starts with `|'. Refer to FILE NAMING CONVENTIONS for more information.
Enabling progress disables hash.
prompt Toggle interactive prompting. Interactive prompting occurs during multiple file transfers to allow the user
to selectively retrieve or store files. If prompting is turned off (default is on), any mget or mput will
transfer all files, and any mdelete will delete all files.
When prompting is on, the following commands are available at a prompt:
a Answer `yes' to the current file, and automatically answer `yes' to any remaining files for the current command.
n Answer `no', and do not transfer the file.
p Answer `yes' to the current file, and turn off prompt mode (as is ``prompt off'' had been given).
q Terminate the current operation.
y Answer `yes', and transfer the file.
? Display a help message.
Any other response will answer `yes' to the current file.
Execute an ftp command on a secondary control connection. This command allows simultaneous connection to two
remote FTP servers for transferring files between the two servers. The first proxy command should be an
open, to establish the secondary control connection. Enter the command "proxy ?" to see other FTP commands
executable on the secondary connection. The following commands behave differently when prefaced by proxy:
open will not define new macros during the auto-login process, close will not erase existing macro defini-
tions, get and mget transfer files from the host on the primary control connection to the host on the sec-
ondary control connection, and put, mput, and append transfer files from the host on the secondary control
connection to the host on the primary control connection. Third party file transfers depend upon support of
the FTP protocol PASV command by the server on the secondary control connection.
put local-file [remote-file]
Store a local file on the remote machine. If remote-file is left unspecified, the local file name is used
after processing according to any ntrans or nmap settings in naming the remote file. File transfer uses the
current settings for type, format, mode, and structure.
pwd Print the name of the current working directory on the remote machine.
quit A synonym for bye.
quote arg1 arg2 ...
The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP server.
rate direction [maximum [increment]]
Throttle the maximum transfer rate to maximum bytes/second. If maximum is 0, disable the throttle.
direction may be one of:
all Both directions.
get Incoming transfers.
put Outgoing transfers.
maximum can be modified on the fly by increment bytes (default: 1024) each time a given signal is received:
SIGUSR1 Increment maximum by increment bytes.
SIGUSR2 Decrement maximum by increment bytes. The result must be a positive number.
If maximum is not supplied, the current throttle rates are displayed.
Note: rate is not yet implemented for ascii mode transfers.
rcvbuf size Set the size of the socket receive buffer to size.
recv remote-file [local-file] A synonym for get.
reget remote-file [local-file]
reget acts like get, except that if local-file exists and is smaller than remote-file, local-file is presumed
to be a partially transferred copy of remote-file and the transfer is continued from the apparent point of
failure. This command is useful when transferring very large files over networks that are prone to dropping
remopts command [command-options]
Set options on the remote FTP server for command to command-options (whose absence is handled on a command-
specific basis). Remote FTP commands known to support options include: `MLST' (used for MLSD and MLST).
rename [from [to]] Rename the file from on the remote machine, to the file to.
reset Clear reply queue. This command re-synchronizes command/reply sequencing with the remote FTP server. Resyn-
chronization may be necessary following a violation of the FTP protocol by the remote server.
Restart the immediately following get or put at the indicated marker. On UNIX systems, marker is usually a
byte offset into the file.
rhelp [command-name] Request help from the remote FTP server. If a command-name is specified it is supplied to the server as well.
rmdir directory-name Delete a directory on the remote machine.
With no arguments, show status of remote machine. If remote-file is specified, show status of remote-file on remote machine.
runique Toggle storing of files on the local system with unique filenames. If a file already exists with a name
equal to the target local filename for a get or mget command, a ".1" is appended to the name. If the result-
ing name matches another existing file, a ".2" is appended to the original name. If this process continues
up to ".99", an error message is printed, and the transfer does not take place. The generated unique file-
name will be reported. Note that runique will not affect local files generated from a shell command (see
below). The default value is off.
send local-file [remote-file] A synonym for put.
sendport Toggle the use of PORT commands. By default, ftp will attempt to use a PORT command when establishing a con-
nection for each data transfer. The use of PORT commands can prevent delays when performing multiple file
transfers. If the PORT command fails, ftp will use the default data port. When the use of PORT commands is
disabled, no attempt will be made to use PORT commands for each data transfer. This is useful for certain
FTP implementations which do ignore PORT commands but, incorrectly, indicate they've been accepted.
set [option value]
Set option to value. If option and value are not given, display all of the options and their values.
anonpass Defaults to $FTPANONPASS
ftp_proxy Defaults to $ftp_proxy.
http_proxy Defaults to $http_proxy.
no_proxy Defaults to $no_proxy.
pager Defaults to $PAGER.
prompt Defaults to $FTPPROMPT.
rprompt Defaults to $FTPRPROMPT.
unset option Unset option.
site arg1 arg2 ... The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP server as a SITE command.
size remote-file Return size of remote-file on remote machine.
sndbuf size Set the size of the socket send buffer to size.
status Show the current status of ftp.
struct struct-name Set the file transfer structure to struct-name. The default (and only supported) structure is ``file''.
sunique Toggle storing of files on remote machine under unique file names. The remote FTP server must support FTP
protocol STOU command for successful completion. The remote server will report unique name. Default value
system Show the type of operating system running on the remote machine.
throttle A synonym for rate.
trace Toggle packet tracing.
Set the file transfer type to type-name. If no type is specified, the current type is printed. The default
type is network ASCII.
umask [newmask] Set the default umask on the remote server to newmask. If newmask is omitted, the current umask is printed.
usage command Print the usage message for command.
user user-name [password [account]]
Identify yourself to the remote FTP server. If the password is not specified and the server requires it, ftp
will prompt the user for it (after disabling local echo). If an account field is not specified, and the FTP
server requires it, the user will be prompted for it. If an account field is specified, an account command
will be relayed to the remote server after the login sequence is completed if the remote server did not
require it for logging in. Unless ftp is invoked with ``auto-login'' disabled, this process is done automat-
ically on initial connection to the FTP server.
verbose Toggle verbose mode. In verbose mode, all responses from the FTP server are displayed to the user. In addi-
tion, if verbose is on, when a file transfer completes, statistics regarding the efficiency of the transfer
are reported. By default, verbose is on.
Set the size of the socket send and receive buffers to size.
A synonym for help.
Command arguments which have embedded spaces may be quoted with quote `"' marks.
Commands which toggle settings can take an explicit on or off argument to force the setting appropriately.
Commands which take a byte count as an argument (e.g., hash, rate, and xferbuf) support an optional suffix on the argu-
ment which changes the interpretation of the argument. Supported suffixes are:
b Causes no modification. (Optional)
k Kilo; multiply the argument by 1024
m Mega; multiply the argument by 1048576
g Giga; multiply the argument by 1073741824
If ftp receives a SIGINFO (see the ``status'' argument of stty(1)) or SIGQUIT signal whilst a transfer is in progress,
the current transfer rate statistics will be written to the standard error output, in the same format as the standard
In addition to standard commands, this version of ftp supports an auto-fetch feature. To enable auto-fetch, simply pass
the list of hostnames/files on the command line.
The following formats are valid syntax for an auto-fetch element:
``Classic'' FTP format.
If path contains a glob character and globbing is enabled, (see glob), then the equivalent of `mget path' is per-
If the directory component of path contains no globbing characters, it is stored locally with the name basename
(see basename(1)) of path, in the current directory. Otherwise, the full remote name is used as the local name,
relative to the local root directory.
An FTP URL, retrieved using the FTP protocol if set ftp_proxy isn't defined. Otherwise, transfer the URL using
HTTP via the proxy defined in set ftp_proxy. If set ftp_proxy isn't defined and user is given, login as user. In
this case, use password if supplied, otherwise prompt the user for one.
If a suffix of `;type=A' or `;type=I' is supplied, then the transfer type will take place as ascii or binary
(respectively). The default transfer type is binary.
In order to be compliant with RFC3986, ftp interprets the path part of an ``ftp://'' auto-fetch URL as follows:
o The `/' immediately after the host[:port] is interpreted as a separator before the path, and not as part of the path itself.
o The path is interpreted as a `/'-separated list of name components. For all but the last such component, ftp
performs the equivalent of a cd command. For the last path component, ftp performs the equivalent of a get
o Empty name components, which result from `//' within the path, or from an extra `/' at the beginning of the
path, will cause the equivalent of a cd command without a directory name. This is unlikely to be useful.
o Any `%XX' codes (per RFC3986) within the path components are decoded, with XX representing a character code in
hexadecimal. This decoding takes place after the path has been split into components, but before each compo-
nent is used in the equivalent of a cd or get command. Some often-used codes are `%2F' (which represents `/')
and `%7E' (which represents `~').
The above interpretation has the following consequences:
o The path is interpreted relative to the default login directory of the specified user or of the `anonymous'
user. If the / directory is required, use a leading path of ``%2F''. If a user's home directory is required
(and the remote server supports the syntax), use a leading path of ``%7Euser/''. For example, to retrieve
/etc/motd from `localhost' as the user `myname' with the password `mypass', use
o The exact cd and get commands can be controlled by careful choice of where to use `/' and where to use `%2F'
(or `%2f'). For example, the following URLs correspond to the equivalents of the indicated commands:
ftp://host/dir1/dir2/file ``cd dir1'', ``cd dir2'', ``get file''.
ftp://host/%2Fdir1/dir2/file ``cd /dir1'', ``cd dir2'', ``get file''.
ftp://host/dir1%2Fdir2/file ``cd dir1/dir2'', ``get file''.
ftp://host/%2Fdir1%2Fdir2/file ``cd /dir1/dir2'', ``get file''.
ftp://host/dir1%2Fdir2%2Ffile ``get dir1/dir2/file''.
ftp://host/%2Fdir1%2Fdir2%2Ffile ``get /dir1/dir2/file''.
o You must have appropriate access permission for each of the intermediate directories that is used in the equiv-
alent of a cd command.
An HTTP URL, retrieved using the HTTP protocol. If set http_proxy is defined, it is used as a URL to an HTTP proxy
server. If HTTP authorization is required to retrieve path, and `user' (and optionally `password') is in the URL,
use them for the first attempt to authenticate.
A local URL, copied from /path on the local host.
Display information regarding topic; no file is retrieved for this auto-fetched element. Supported values include:
about:ftp Information about ftp.
about:version The version of ftp. Useful to provide when reporting problems.
Unless noted otherwise above, and -o output is not given, the file is stored in the current directory as the basename(1)
of path. Note that if a HTTP redirect is received, the fetch is retried using the new target URL supplied by the server,
with a corresponding new path. Using an explicit -o output is recommended, to avoid writing to unexpected file names.
If a classic format or an FTP URL format has a trailing `/' or an empty path component, then ftp will connect to the site
and cd to the directory given as the path, and leave the user in interactive mode ready for further input. This will not
work if set ftp_proxy is being used.
Direct HTTP transfers use HTTP 1.1. Proxied FTP and HTTP transfers use HTTP 1.0.
If -R is given, all auto-fetches that don't go via the FTP or HTTP proxies will be restarted. For FTP, this is imple-
mented by using reget instead of get. For HTTP, this is implemented by using the `Range: bytes=' HTTP/1.1 directive.
If WWW or proxy WWW authentication is required, you will be prompted to enter a username and password to authenticate
When specifying IPv6 numeric addresses in a URL, you need to surround the address in square brackets. E.g.:
``ftp://[::1]:21/''. This is because colons are used in IPv6 numeric address as well as being the separator for the port number.
ABORTING A FILE TRANSFER
To abort a file transfer, use the terminal interrupt key (usually Ctrl-C). Sending transfers will be immediately halted.
Receiving transfers will be halted by sending an FTP protocol ABOR command to the remote server, and discarding any fur-
ther data received. The speed at which this is accomplished depends upon the remote server's support for ABOR process-
ing. If the remote server does not support the ABOR command, the prompt will not appear until the remote server has com-
pleted sending the requested file.
If the terminal interrupt key sequence is used whilst ftp is awaiting a reply from the remote server for the ABOR pro-
cessing, then the connection will be closed. This is different from the traditional behaviour (which ignores the termi-
nal interrupt during this phase), but is considered more useful.
FILE NAMING CONVENTIONS
Files specified as arguments to ftp commands are processed according to the following rules.
1. If the file name `-' is specified, the stdin (for reading) or stdout (for writing) is used.
2. If the first character of the file name is `|', the remainder of the argument is interpreted as a shell command.
ftp then forks a shell, using popen(3) with the argument supplied, and reads (writes) from the stdout (stdin). If
the shell command includes spaces, the argument must be quoted; e.g. ``"| ls -lt"''. A particularly useful example
of this mechanism is: ``dir "" |more''.
3. Failing the above checks, if ``globbing'' is enabled, local file names are expanded according to the rules used in
the csh(1); see the glob command. If the ftp command expects a single local file (e.g. put), only the first file-
name generated by the "globbing" operation is used.
4. For mget commands and get commands with unspecified local file names, the local filename is the remote filename,
which may be altered by a case, ntrans, or nmap setting. The resulting filename may then be altered if runique is
5. For mput commands and put commands with unspecified remote file names, the remote filename is the local filename,
which may be altered by a ntrans or nmap setting. The resulting filename may then be altered by the remote server
if sunique is on.
FILE TRANSFER PARAMETERS
The FTP specification specifies many parameters which may affect a file transfer. The type may be one of ``ascii'',
``image'' (binary), ``ebcdic'', and ``local byte size'' (for PDP-10's and PDP-20's mostly). ftp supports the ascii and
image types of file transfer, plus local byte size 8 for tenex mode transfers.
ftp supports only the default values for the remaining file transfer parameters: mode, form, and struct.
THE .netrc FILE
The .netrc file contains login and initialization information used by the auto-login process. It resides in the user's
home directory, unless overridden with the -N netrc option, or specified in the NETRC environment variable. The follow-
ing tokens are recognized; they may be separated by spaces, tabs, or new-lines:
Identify a remote machine name. The auto-login process searches the .netrc file for a machine token that
matches the remote machine specified on the ftp command line or as an open command argument. Once a match is
made, the subsequent .netrc tokens are processed, stopping when the end of file is reached or another machine
or a default token is encountered.
default This is the same as machine name except that default matches any name. There can be only one default token,
and it must be after all machine tokens. This is normally used as:
default login anonymous password user@site
thereby giving the user an automatic anonymous FTP login to machines not specified in .netrc. This can be
overridden by using the -n flag to disable auto-login.
Identify a user on the remote machine. If this token is present, the auto-login process will initiate a login
using the specified name.
Supply a password. If this token is present, the auto-login process will supply the specified string if the
remote server requires a password as part of the login process. Note that if this token is present in the
.netrc file for any user other than anonymous, ftp will abort the auto-login process if the .netrc is readable
by anyone besides the user.
Supply an additional account password. If this token is present, the auto-login process will supply the speci-
fied string if the remote server requires an additional account password, or the auto-login process will initi-
ate an ACCT command if it does not.
Define a macro. This token functions like the ftp macdef command functions. A macro is defined with the spec-
ified name; its contents begin with the next .netrc line and continue until a blank line (consecutive new-line
characters) is encountered. Like the other tokens in the .netrc file, a macdef is applicable only to the
machine definition preceding it. A macdef entry cannot be utilized by multiple machine definitions; rather, it
must be defined following each machine it is intended to be used with. If a macro named init is defined, it is
automatically executed as the last step in the auto-login process. For example,
followed by a blank line.
COMMAND LINE EDITING
ftp supports interactive command line editing, via the editline(3) library. It is enabled with the edit command, and is
enabled by default if input is from a tty. Previous lines can be recalled and edited with the arrow keys, and other GNU
Emacs-style editing keys may be used as well.
The editline(3) library is configured with a .editrc file - refer to editrc(5) for more information.
An extra key binding is available to ftp to provide context sensitive command and filename completion (including remote
file completion). To use this, bind a key to the editline(3) command ftp-complete. By default, this is bound to the TAB
COMMAND LINE PROMPT
By default, ftp displays a command line prompt of ``ftp> '' to the user. This can be changed with the set prompt com-
A prompt can be displayed on the right side of the screen (after the command input) with the set rprompt command.
The trailing component of the current remote working directory, or n trailing components if a digit n is
given. If n begins with `0', the number of skipped components precede the trailing component(s) in the format
``/<number>trailing'' (for `%c') or ``...trailing'' (for `%.').
%/ The current remote working directory.
%M The remote host name.
%m The remote host name, up to the first `.'.
%n The remote user name.
%% A single `%'.
ftp uses the following environment variables.
FTPANONPASS Password to send in an anonymous FTP transfer. Defaults to ```whoami`@''.
FTPMODE Overrides the default operation mode.
active active mode FTP only
auto automatic determination of passive or active (this is the default)
gate gate-ftp mode
passive passive mode FTP only
FTPPROMPT Command-line prompt to use. Defaults to ``ftp> ''. Refer to COMMAND LINE PROMPT for more information.
FTPRPROMPT Command-line right side prompt to use. Defaults to ``''. Refer to COMMAND LINE PROMPT for more information.
FTPSERVER Host to use as gate-ftp server when gate is enabled.
FTPSERVERPORT Port to use when connecting to gate-ftp server when gate is enabled. Default is port returned by a
getservbyname() lookup of ``ftpgate/tcp''.
FTPUSERAGENT The value to send for the HTTP User-Agent header.
HOME For default location of a .netrc file, if one exists.
NETRC An alternate location of the .netrc file.
PAGER Used by various commands to display files. Defaults to more(1) if empty or not set.
SHELL For default shell.
ftp_proxy URL of FTP proxy to use when making FTP URL requests (if not defined, use the standard FTP protocol).
See http_proxy for further notes about proxy use.
http_proxy URL of HTTP proxy to use when making HTTP URL requests. If proxy authentication is required and there is
a username and password in this URL, they will automatically be used in the first attempt to authenticate
to the proxy.
If ``unsafe'' URL characters are required in the username or password (for example `@' or `/'), encode
them with RFC3986 `%XX' encoding.
Note that the use of a username and password in ftp_proxy and http_proxy may be incompatible with other
programs that use it (such as lynx(1)).
NOTE: this is not used for interactive sessions, only for command-line fetches.
no_proxy A space or comma separated list of hosts (or domains) for which proxying is not to be used. Each entry
may have an optional trailing ":port", which restricts the matching to connections to that port.
EXTENDED PASSIVE MODE AND FIREWALLS
Some firewall configurations do not allow ftp to use extended passive mode. If you find that even a simple ls appears to
hang after printing a message such as this:
229 Entering Extended Passive Mode (|||58551|)
then you will need to disable extended passive mode with epsv4 off. See the above section The .netrc File for an example
of how to make this automatic.
getservbyname(3), editrc(5), services(5), ftpd(8)
ftp attempts to be compliant with:
RFC0959 File Transfer Protocol
RFC1123 Requirements for Internet Hosts - Application and Support
RFC1635 How to Use Anonymous FTP
RFC2389 Feature negotiation mechanism for the File Transfer Protocol
RFC2428 FTP Extensions for IPv6 and NATs
RFC2616 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1
RFC2822 Internet Message Format
RFC3659 Extensions to FTP
RFC3986 Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)
Correct execution of many commands depends upon proper behavior by the remote server.
ftp assumes that all IPv4 mapped addresses (IPv6 addresses with a form like ::ffff:10.1.1.1) indicate IPv4 destinations
which can be handled by AF_INET sockets. However, in certain IPv6 network configurations, this assumption is not true.
In such an environment, IPv4 mapped addresses must be passed to AF_INET6 sockets directly. For example, if your site
uses a SIIT translator for IPv6-to-IPv4 translation, ftp is unable to support your configuration.