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FTP(1) General Commands Manual FTP(1)

NAME

ftpInternet file transfer program

SYNOPSIS

ftp [-46AadEegiMmnptVv] [-D title] [-k seconds] [-P port] [-r seconds] [-s srcaddr] [host [port]]

ftp [-C] [-o output] [-s srcaddr] ftp://[user:password@]host[:port]/file[/] ...

ftp [-C] [-c cookie] [-o output] [-S ssl_options] [-s srcaddr] [-U useragent] [-w seconds] http[s]://[user:password@]host[:port]/file ...

ftp [-C] [-o output] [-s srcaddr] file:file ...

ftp [-C] [-o output] [-s srcaddr] host:/file[/] ...

DESCRIPTION

ftp is the user interface to the Internet standard File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The program allows a user to transfer files to and from a remote network site.
The latter four usage formats will fetch a file using either the FTP, HTTP, or HTTPS protocols into the current directory. This is ideal for scripts. Refer to AUTO-FETCHING FILES below for more information.
The options are as follows:
 
 
-4
Forces ftp to use IPv4 addresses only.
 
 
-6
Forces ftp to use IPv6 addresses only.
 
 
-A
Force active mode FTP. By default, ftp will try to use passive mode FTP and fall back to active mode if passive 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 the normal login procedure and use an anonymous login instead.
 
 
-C
Continue a previously interrupted file transfer. ftp will continue transferring from an offset equal to the length of file.
Resuming HTTP(S) transfers are only supported if the remote server supports the “Range” header.
 
 
-c cookie
Load a Netscape-like cookiejar file for HTTP and HTTPS transfers. With this option relevant cookies from the jar are sent with each HTTP(S) request. Setting the http_cookies environment variable has the same effect. If both the http_cookies environment variable is set and the -c argument is given, the latter takes precedence.
 
 
-D title
Specify a short title for the start of the progress bar.
 
 
-d
Enables debugging.
 
 
-E
Disables EPSV/EPRT command on IPv4 connections.
 
 
-e
Disables command line editing. Useful for Emacs ange-ftp.
 
 
-g
Disables file name globbing.
 
 
-i
Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file transfers.
 
 
-k seconds
When greater than zero, sends a byte after each seconds period over the control connection during long transfers, so that incorrectly configured network equipment won't aggressively drop it. The FTP protocol supports a NOOP command that can be used for that purpose. This assumes the FTP server can deal with extra commands coming over the control connection during a transfer. Well-behaved servers queue those commands, and process them after the transfer. By default, ftp will send a byte every 60 seconds.
 
 
-M
Causes ftp to never display the progress meter in cases where it would do so by default.
 
 
-m
Causes ftp to always display the progress meter in cases where it would not do so by default.
 
 
-n
Restrains ftp from attempting “auto-login” upon initial connection. If auto-login is enabled, ftp will check the .netrc file (see below) 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 log in.
 
 
-o output
When fetching a single file or URL, save the contents in output. To make the contents go to stdout, use ‘-’ for output.
 
 
-P port
Sets the port number to port.
 
 
-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 passive connections.
 
 
-r seconds
Retry to connect if failed, pausing for number of seconds.
 
 
-S ssl_options
SSL/TLS options to use with HTTPS transfers. The following settings are available:
 
 
cafile=/path/to/cert.pem
PEM encoded file containing CA certificates used for certificate validation.
 
 
capath=/path/to/certs/
Directory containing PEM encoded CA certificates used for certificate validation. Such a directory can be prepared using the c_rehash script distributed with OpenSSL.
 
 
ciphers=cipher_list
Specify the list of ciphers that will be used by ftp. See the openssl(1) ciphers subcommand.
 
 
depth=max_depth
Maximum depth of the certificate chain allowed when performing validation.
 
 
do
Perform server certificate validation.
 
 
dont
Don't perform server certificate validation.
 
 
muststaple
Require the server to present a valid OCSP stapling in the TLS handshake.
 
 
noverifytime
Disable validation of certificate times and OCSP validation.
By default, server certificate validation is performed, and if it fails ftp will abort. If no cafile or capath setting is provided, /etc/ssl/cert.pem will be used.
 
 
-s srcaddr
Use srcaddr on the local machine as the source address of the connection. Only useful on systems with more than one address.
 
 
-t
Enables packet tracing.
 
 
-U useragent
Set useragent as the User-Agent for HTTP(S) URL requests. If not specified, the default User-Agent is “OpenBSD ftp”.
 
 
-V
Disable verbose mode, overriding the default of enabled when input is from a terminal.
 
 
-v
Enable verbose mode. This is the default if input is from a terminal. Forces ftp to show all responses from the remote server, as well as report on data transfer statistics.
 
 
-w seconds
For URL format connections to HTTP/HTTPS servers, abort a slow connection after seconds.
The host with which ftp is to communicate may be specified on the command line. If this is done, ftp will immediately 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, the prompt “ftp>” is provided to the user. The following commands are recognized by ftp:
 
 
! [command [arg ...]]
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 [arg ...]
Execute the macro macro-name that was defined with the macdef command. Arguments are passed to the macro unglobbed.
 
 
? [command]
A synonym for help.
 
 
account [password]
Supply a supplemental password required by a remote system for access to resources once a login has been successfully 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.
 
 
ascii
Set the file transfer type to network ASCII.
 
 
bell [on | off]
Arrange that a bell be sounded after each file transfer command is completed.
 
 
binary
Set the file transfer type to support binary image transfer. This is the default type.
 
 
bye
Terminate the FTP session with the remote server and exit ftp. An end-of-file will also terminate the session and exit.
 
 
case [on | off]
Toggle remote computer file name case mapping during mget 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.
 
 
cd remote-directory
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 file
Change the permission modes of file on the remote system to mode.
 
 
close
Terminate the FTP session with the remote server and return to the command interpreter. Any defined macros are erased.
 
 
cr [on | off]
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 distinguished from a record delimiter only when cr is off.
 
 
debug [on | off | debuglevel]
Toggle debugging mode. If an optional debuglevel 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-directory [local-file]]
A synonym for ls.
 
 
disconnect
A synonym for close.
 
 
edit [on | off]
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 [on | off]
Toggle use of EPSV/EPRT command on IPv4 connection.
 
 
exit
A synonym for bye.
 
 
form format
Set the file transfer form to format. The default format is “file”.
 
 
ftp host [port]
A synonym for open.
 
 
gate [on | off | host [port]]
Toggle gate-ftp mode. This will not be permitted if the gate-ftp server hasn't been set (either explicitly by the user, or from the FTPSERVER environment 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 [on | off]
Toggle filename expansion for mdelete, mget and mput. 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 and mget, 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 and mput 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 [on | off | size]
Toggle hash mark (‘#’) 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.
 
 
help [command]
Print an informative message about the meaning of command. If no argument is given, ftp prints a list of the known commands.
 
 
idle [seconds]
Set the inactivity timer on the remote server to seconds seconds. If seconds is omitted, the current inactivity timer is printed.
 
 
lcd [local-directory]
Change the working directory on the local machine. If no local-directory is specified, the user's home directory is used.
 
 
less file
A synonym for page.
 
 
lpwd
Print the working directory on the local machine.
 
 
ls [remote-directory [local-file]]
Print a listing of the contents of a directory on the remote machine. The listing includes any system-dependent information that the server chooses to include; for example, most UNIX systems will produce output from the command ‘ls -l’. If remote-directory is left unspecified, the current working directory is used. If interactive prompting is on, ftp will prompt the user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving ls output. If no local file is specified, or if local-file is ‘-’, the output is sent to the terminal.
 
 
macdef macro-name
Define a macro. Subsequent lines are stored as the macro macro-name; a null line (consecutive newline characters 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 in (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 ‘$’ followed by an ‘i’ tells the macro processor that the executing macro is to be looped. On the first pass ‘$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 ‘$’.
 
 
mdelete [remote-files]
Delete the remote-files on the remote machine.
 
 
mdir remote-files local-file
A synonym for mls.
 
 
mget [-cnr] [-d depth] remote-files
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’.
The options are as follows:
 
 
-c
Use reget instead of get.
 
 
-d depth
Specify the maximum recursion level depth. The default is 0, which means unlimited.
 
 
-n
Use newer instead of get.
 
 
-r
Recursively descend the directory tree, transferring all files and directories.
 
 
mkdir directory-name
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.
 
 
mode [mode-name]
Set the file transfer mode to mode-name. The default mode is “stream” mode.
 
 
modtime file
Show the last modification time of file on the remote machine.
 
 
more file
A synonym for page.
 
 
mput [-cr] [-d depth] local-files
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.
If the -c flag is specified then The options are as follows:
 
 
-c
Use reput instead of put.
 
 
-d depth
Specify the maximum recursion level depth. The default is 0, which means unlimited.
 
 
-r
Recursively descend the directory tree, transferring all files and directories.
 
 
msend [-c] local-files
A synonym for mput.
 
 
newer remote-file [local-file]
Get the file only if the modification time of the remote file is more recent than 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-directory [local-file]]
Print a list of the files in a directory on the remote machine. If remote-directory is left unspecified, the current working directory is used. If interactive prompting is on, ftp will prompt the user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving nlist output. If no local file is specified, or if local-file is ‘-’, the output is sent to the terminal. Note that on some servers, the nlist command will only return information on normal files (not directories or special files).
 
 
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 useful 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 filenames (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 determine 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 determines 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. Additionally, the sequence ‘[seq1, seq2]’ is replaced by seq1 if seq1 is not a null string; otherwise it is replaced by seq2. For example:
nmap $1.$2.$3 [$1,$2].[$2,file]
This command 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 by quoting them, as in the following example:
nmap $1.$2 "$1 $2"
    
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 character translation mechanism is unset. If arguments are specified, characters in remote filenames are translated 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 computer 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.
 
 
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 auto-login option is on (default), ftp will also attempt to automatically log the user in to the FTP server (see below).
 
 
page file
Retrieve file and display with the program defined in PAGER (defaulting to more(1) if PAGER is null or not defined).
 
 
passive [on | off]
Toggle passive mode. If passive mode is turned on (default is on), ftp will send a EPSV command for all data connections instead of the usual 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 RFC 1123, some do not.)
 
 
preserve [on | off]
Toggle preservation of modification times on retrieved files.
 
 
progress [on | off]
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.
 
 
prompt [on | off]
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:
 
 
?
Print help message.
 
 
a
Answer “yes” to the current file and automatically answer “yes” to any remaining files for the current command.
 
 
n
Do not transfer the file.
 
 
p
Answer “yes” to the current file and turn off prompt mode (as if “prompt off” had been given).
 
 
q
Answer “no” to the current file and automatically answer “no” to any remaining files for the current command.
 
 
y
Transfer the file.
 
 
proxy command
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 definitions; get and mget transfer files from the host on the primary control connection to the host on the secondary 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 arg ...
The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP server.
 
 
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 connections.
 
 
rename from-name to-name
Rename the file from-name on the remote machine to the file to-name.
 
 
reput local-file [remote-file]
Reput acts like put, except that if remote-file exists and is smaller than local-file, remote-file is presumed to be a partially transferred copy of local-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 connections.
 
 
reset
Clear reply queue. This command re-synchronizes command/reply sequencing with the remote FTP server. Resynchronization may be necessary following a violation of the FTP protocol by the remote server.
 
 
restart marker
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.
 
 
rstatus [file]
With no arguments, show status of remote machine. If file is specified, show status of file on remote machine.
 
 
runique [on | off]
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 resulting 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 filename 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 [on | off]
Toggle the use of PORT commands. By default, ftp will attempt to use a PORT command when establishing a connection 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.
 
 
site arg ...
The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP server as a SITE command.
 
 
size file
Return size of file on remote machine.
 
 
status
Show the current status of ftp.
 
 
sunique [on | off]
Toggle storing of files on remote machine under unique file names. The remote FTP server must support the FTP protocol STOU command for successful completion. The remote server will report the unique name. Default value is off.
 
 
system
Show the type of operating system running on the remote machine.
 
 
trace [on | off]
Toggle packet tracing.
 
 
type [type-name]
Set the file transfer type to type-name. If no type is specified, the current type is printed. The default type is “binary”.
 
 
umask [newmask]
Set the default umask on the remote server to newmask. If newmask is omitted, the current umask is printed.
 
 
user username [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 automatically on initial connection to the FTP server.
 
 
verbose [on | off]
Toggle verbose mode. In verbose mode, all responses from the FTP server are displayed to the user. In addition, if verbose is on, when a file transfer completes, statistics regarding the efficiency of the transfer are reported. By default, verbose is on.
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.
If ftp receives a SIGINFO (see the “status” argument of stty(1)) 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 completion message.

AUTO-FETCHING FILES

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:
 
 
host:/file[/]
“Classic” ftp format.
 
 
ftp://[user:password@]host[:port]/file[/]
An FTP URL, retrieved using the FTP protocol if ftp_proxy isn't defined. Otherwise, transfer using HTTP via the proxy defined in ftp_proxy. If a user and password are given and ftp_proxy isn't defined, log in as user with a password of password.
 
 
http://[user:password@]host[:port]/file
An HTTP URL, retrieved using the HTTP protocol. If http_proxy is defined, it is used as a URL to an HTTP proxy server. If a user and password are given and http_proxy isn't defined, log in as user with a password of password using Basic authentication.
 
 
https://[user:password@]host[:port]/file
An HTTPS URL, retrieved using the HTTPS protocol. If http_proxy is defined, this HTTPS proxy server will be used to fetch the file using the CONNECT method. If a user and password are given and http_proxy isn't defined, log in as user with a password of password using Basic authentication.
 
 
file:file
file is retrieved from a mounted file system.
If a classic format or an FTP URL format has a trailing ‘/’, 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.
If successive auto-fetch FTP elements refer to the same host, then the connection is maintained between transfers, reducing overhead on connection creation and deletion.
If file contains a glob character and globbing is enabled (see glob), then the equivalent of mget file is performed.
If no -o option is specified, and the directory component of file contains no globbing characters, then it is stored in the current directory as the basename(1) of file. If -o output is specified, then file is stored as output. Otherwise, the remote name is used as the local name.

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 further data received. The speed at which this is accomplished depends upon the remote server's support for ABOR processing. If the remote server does not support the ABOR command, an ‘ftp>’ prompt will not appear until the remote server has completed sending the requested file.
The terminal interrupt key sequence will be ignored when ftp has completed any local processing and is awaiting a reply from the remote server. A long delay in this mode may result from the ABOR processing described above, or from unexpected behavior by the remote server, including violations of the FTP protocol. If the delay results from unexpected remote server behavior, the local ftp program must be killed by hand.

FILE NAMING CONVENTIONS

Files specified as arguments to ftp commands are processed according to the following rules.
  1. If ‘-’ is specified as a local file name, the standard input (for reading) or standard output (for writing) is used.
  2. If the first character of a local 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 standard output (standard input). If the shell command includes spaces, the argument must be quoted; e.g., “ls -lt”. A particularly useful example of this mechanism is: “ls . |more”.
  3. Failing the above checks, if “globbing” is enabled, local file names are expanded according to the rules used in the csh(1) glob command. If the ftp command expects a single local file (e.g., put), only the first filename 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 on.
  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”, “binary”, or “image”. ftp supports the ASCII and image types of file transfer.
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. The following tokens are recognized; they may be separated by spaces, tabs, or new-lines:
 
 
machine name
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 automatic anonymous FTP login to machines not specified in .netrc. This can be overridden by using the -n flag to disable auto-login.
 
 
login name
Identify a user on the remote machine. If this token is present, the auto-login process will initiate a login using the specified name.
 
 
password string
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.
 
 
account string
Supply an additional account password. If this token is present, the auto-login process will supply the specified string if the remote server requires an additional account password, or the auto-login process will initiate an ACCT command if it does not.
 
 
macdef name
Define a macro. This token functions like the ftp macdef command functions. A macro is defined with the specified name; its contents begin with the next .netrc line and continue until a null 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.

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 key.

ENVIRONMENT

ftp utilizes the following environment variables:
 
 
FTPMODE
Overrides the default operation mode. Recognized values are:
passive
passive mode FTP only
active
active mode FTP only
auto
automatic determination of passive or active (this is the default)
gate
gate-ftp mode
 
 
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”.
 
 
HOME
For default location of a .netrc file, if one exists.
 
 
PAGER
Used by page to display files.
 
 
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).
 
 
http_proxy
URL of HTTP proxy to use when making HTTP or HTTPS URL requests.
 
 
http_cookies
Path of a Netscape-like cookiejar file to use when making HTTP or HTTPS URL requests.

PORT ALLOCATION

For active mode data connections, ftp will listen to a random high TCP port. The interval of ports used are configurable using sysctl(8) variables net.inet.ip.porthifirst and net.inet.ip.porthilast.

SEE ALSO

basename(1), csh(1), more(1), stty(1), tar(1), tftp(1), editline(3), getservbyname(3), popen(3), editrc(5), services(5), ftp-proxy(8), ftpd(8)

STANDARDS

J. Postel and J. Reynolds, FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL (FTP), RFC 959, October 1985.
P. Hethmon, Extensions to FTP, RFC 3659, March 2007.

HISTORY

The ftp command appeared in 4.2BSD.

BUGS

Correct execution of many commands depends upon proper behavior by the remote server.
In the recursive mode of mget, files and directories starting with whitespace are ignored because the list cannot be parsed any other way.
January 25, 2017 OpenBSD-current