The ftp(1) utility is the user interface to the ARPANET
standard File Transfer Protocol. The program allows a user to
transfer files to and from a remote network site, specified by
host. If the optional port is also specified, the is
assumed to be on the specified port instead of the default.
(Because most systems use the default, you should avoid using an
additional port unless specifically instructed to do
Options can be specified at the command line, or to the command
Disables file-name globbing.
Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file
Restrains ftp(1) from attempting auto-login upon initial
connection. If auto-login is enabled, ftp(1) will check the
.netrc (see below) file in the user's home directory for an
entry describing an account on the remote computer. If no entry
exists, ftp(1) will prompt for the remote computer login
name (default is the user identity on the local computer), and, if
necessary, prompt for a password and an account with which to
Verbose option forces ftp(1) to show all responses from
the remote server, as well as report on data transfer
The client host with which ftp(1) is to communicate can
be specified on the command line. If this is done, ftp(1)
will immediately attempt to establish a connection to an FTP server
on that host; otherwise, ftp(1) will enter its command
interpreter and await instructions from the user. When
ftp(1) is awaiting commands, the prompt:
is provided to the user. The following commands are recognized by
! [ command [args]]
Invoke an interactive shell on the local computer. If there are
arguments, the first is taken to be a command to execute directly,
with the rest of the arguments as its arguments.
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 successfully completed.
If no argument is included, the user will be prompted for an
account password in a non-echoing input mode.
Append a local file to a file on the remote computer. 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.
Set the file transfer type to network ASCII. This is the
Arrange that a bell be sounded after each file transfer command
Set the file transfer type to support binary image
Terminate the session with the remote server and exit
ftp(1). An end of file will also terminate the session and
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 uppercase are
written in the local directory with the letters mapped to
Change the working directory on the remote computer to
Change the remote-computer working directory to the parent of
the current remote-computer working directory.
Change the permission modes of the file file-name on the
remote system to mode.
Terminate the FTP session with the remote server, and return to
the command interpreter. Any defined macros are erased.
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 POSIX single linefeed record delimiter. Records on
non-POSIX remote systems can contain single linefeeds; when an
ASCII-type transfer is made, these linefeeds can be distinguished
from a record delimiter only when cr is off.
Delete the file remote-file on the remote computer.
Toggle debugging mode. If an optional debug-value is
specified, it is used to set the debugging level. When debugging is
on, ftp(1) prints each command sent to the remote computer,
preceded by the string -->
dir [remote-directory [local-file]]
Print a listing of the directory contents in the directory,
remote-directory, and, optionally, placing the output in
local-file. If interactive prompting is on, ftp(1)
prompts the user to verify that the last argument is indeed the
target local file for receiving dir output. If no directory
is specified, the current working directory on the remote computer
is used. If no local file is specified, or local-file is
-, output comes to the terminal.
A synonym for close.
Set the file transfer form to format. The default format
Retrieve the remote-file and store it on the local
computer. If the local file name is not specified, it is given the
same name it has on the remote computer, 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.
Toggle file-name 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 computer, 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 using the
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).
Toggle hash-sign ("#") printing for each data block
transferred. The size of a data block is 1024 bytes.
Like hash, turns on the printing of information for each
data block transferred. Unlike hash, hashn updates a
numeric display of the number of bytes, which is more readable for
large transfers. Both hash and hashn interact. The
hashn setting controls whether the output is #
characters or numbers. Turning hashn on and off also turns
hash on and off; turning hash off turns off
hashn. Turning hash on never turns on
Print an informative message about the meaning of
command. If no argument is given, ftp(1) prints a
list of the known commands.
Set the inactivity timer on the remote server to seconds
seconds. If seconds is omitted, the current inactivity timer
Change the working directory on the local computer. If no
directory is specified, the user's home directory is
ls [remote-directory [local-file]]
Print a listing of the contents of a directory on the remote
computer. The listing includes any system-dependent information
that the server chooses to include; for example, most systems with
an ls(1) command will use output from the command ls
-l (See also nlist.) If remote-directory is left
unspecified, the current working directory is used. If interactive
prompting is on, ftp(1) 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
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. Macros remain defined until a close
command is executed. 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 '$' followed by an 'i' signals that macro processor
that the executing macro is to be looped. On the first pass, '$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 computer.
Like dir, except multiple remote files can be specified.
If interactive prompting is on, ftp(1) 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 computer and do a
get for each file name thus produced. See glob for
details on the file-name 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 computer.
Like nlist, except multiple remote files may be
specified, and the local-file must be specified. If
interactive prompting is on, ftp(1) will prompt the user to
verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for
receiving mls output.
Set the file-transfer mode to mode-name. The default
mode is stream mode.
Show the last modification time of the file on the remote
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 file-name expansion. Resulting file
names will then be processed according to ntrans and
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
nlist [remote-directory] [local-file]
Print a list of the files in a directory on the remote
computer. If remote-directory is left unspecified, the
current working directory is used. If the system has an
ls(1) command, that output will probably be used for the
nlist command. If interactive prompting is on, ftp(1)
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.
nmap [inpattern outpattern]
Set or unset the file-name mapping mechanism. If no arguments
are specified, the file-name mapping mechanism is unset. If
arguments are specified, remote file names are mapped during
mput commands and put commands issued without a
specified remote target file name. If arguments are specified,
local file names are mapped during mget commands and
get commands issued without a specified local target file
name. This command is useful when connecting to a 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 (that might
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 file name. The sequences '$1', '$2', ...., '$9' are replaced
by any value resulting from the inpattern template. The
sequence '$0' is replace by the original file name. Additionally,
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]
yields the output file name "myfile.data" for input file names
"myfile.data" and "myfile.data.old", "myfile.file" for the input
file name "myfile", and "myfile.myfile" for the input file name
".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 ','
ntrans [inchars [outchars]]
Set or unset the file-name character translation mechanism. If
no arguments are specified, the file-name character translation
mechanism is unset. If arguments are specified, characters in
remote file names are translated during mput commands and
put commands issued without a specified remote target file
name. If arguments are specified, characters in local file names
are translated during mget commands and get commands
issued without a specified local target file name. This command is
useful when connecting to a computer with different file naming
conventions or practices. Characters in a file-name 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.
Establish a connection to the FTP server of the specified
host. An optional port number ca n be supplied, in which
case, ftp(1) will attempt to contact an FTP server at that
port. If the auto-login option is on (default),
ftp(1) will also attempt to automatically log the user in to
the server (see below).
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.
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
open will not define new macros during the auto-login
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
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
Store a local file on the remote computer. 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
Print the name of the current working directory on the remote
A synonym for bye.
quotearg1 arg2 ...
The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP
A synonym for get.
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
Request help from the remote FTP server. If a
command-name is specified, it is supplied to the server as
With no arguments, show status of remote computer. If
file-name is specified, show status of file-name on
rename [from] [to]
Rename the file from on the remote computer, to the file
Clear reply queue. This command resynchronizes command/reply
sequencing with the remote ftp server. Resynchronization might be
necessary following a violation of the ftp protocol by the remote
Restart the immediately following get or put at
the indicated marker. The marker is usually a byte
offset into the file.
Delete a directory on the remote computer.
Toggle storing of files on the local system with unique file
names. If a file already exists with a name equal to the target
local file name 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 file name will
be reported. Note that runique will not affect local files
generated from a shell command (see below). The default value is
A synonym for put.
Toggle the use of PORT commands. By default, ftp(1) 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(1) 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 that ignore PORT commands but incorrectly indicate
they have been accepted.
sitearg1 arg2 ...
The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP
server as a SITE command.
Return size of file-name on remote computer.
Show the current status of ftp(1).
Set the file transfer structure to struct-name. By
default, stream structure is used.
Toggle the storing of files on remote computer under unique
file names. The remote ftp server must support the ftp protocol
STOU command for successful completion. The remote server will
report unique name. Default value is off.
Show the type of operating system running on the remote
Set the file transfer type to that needed to talk to TENEX
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
Set the default umask on the remote server to newmask.
If newmask is omitted, the current umask is printed.
Identify yourself to the remote FTP server. If the
password is not specified, and the server requires it,
ftp(1) 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(1) is invoked with auto-login disabled, this process is
done automatically on initial connection to the FTP server.
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
A synonym for help.
Command arguments that have embedded spaces can be quoted with
quote '"' marks.
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
The terminal interrupt key sequence will be ignored when
ftp(1) 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(1) program must be killed by
Files specified as arguments to ftp(1) commands are
processed according to the following rules.
If the file name '-' is specified, the stdin (for reading) or
stdout (for writing) is used.
If the first character of the file name is '|', the remainder
of the argument is interpreted as a shell command. The
ftp(1) utility 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 (for example, ls -lt). A
particularly useful example of this mechanism is:
dir . |more
Failing the above checks, if "globbing" is enabled, local file
names are expanded according to the rules used in the
csh(1); c.f. the glob command. If the ftp(1)
command expects a single local file (such as put), only the
first file name generated by the "globbing" operation is used.
For mget commands and get commands with
unspecified local file names, the local file name is the remote
file name, which can be altered by a case, ntrans, or
nmap setting. The resulting file name can then be altered if
runique is on.
For mput commands and put commands with
unspecified remote file names, the remote file name is the local
file name, which can be altered by a ntrans or nmap
setting. The resulting file name can then be altered by the remote
server if sunique is on.
The FTP specification specifies many parameters that can affect
a file transfer. The type can be ascii, image (binary),
ebcdic, or local byte size (primarily for PDP-10s and PDP20s). The
ftp(1) utility supports the ascii and image types of file
transfer, plus local byte size 8 for tenex-mode transfers.
The ftp(1) sutility upports only the default values for
the remaining file transfer parameters: mode, form,
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
can be separated by spaces, tabs, or newlines:
Identify a remote computer name. The auto-login process
searches the .netrc file for a machine token that
matches the remote machine specified on the ftp(1) 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.
This is the same as machinename 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.
Identify a user on the remote computer. If this token is
present, the auto-login process will initiate a login using the
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(1) 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 specified string if
the remote server requires an additional account password, or the
auto-login process will initiate an ACCT command if it does
Define a macro. This token functions like the ftp(1)
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 newline characters) is
encountered. If a macro named init is defined, it is
automatically executed as the last step in the auto-login
Correct execution of many commands depends upon proper behavior
by the remote server.
An error in the treatment of carriage returns in the BSD 4.2
ascii-mode transfer code. has been corrected. This can result in
incorrect transfers of binary files to and from BSD 4.2 servers
using the ascii type. You can circumvent this problem by using the
binary image type.