Linux "pftp" Command Line Options and Examples
Internet file transfer program
Ftp is the user interface to the Internet standard File Transfer Protocol. The program allows a user to trans‐ fer files to and from a remote network site. Options may be specified at the command line, or to the command interpreter.
ftp [-46pinegvd] [host [port]]
pftp [-46inegvd] [host [port]]
Command Line Options:
Use only IPv4 to contact any host.
pftp -4 ...
Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file transfers.
pftp -i ...
Disables file name globbing.
pftp -g ...
The client host and an optional port number with which ftp is to communicate may be specified on the commandline. 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 awaitingcommands 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 bea 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 themacro unglobbed.account [passwd]Supply a supplemental password required by a remote system for access to resources once a login hasbeen successfully completed. If no argument is included, the user will be prompted for an accountpassword 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 localfile name is used in naming the remote file after being altered by any ntrans or nmap setting. Filetransfer uses the current settings for type, format, mode, and structure.ascii Set the file transfer type to network ASCII. This is the default type.bell Arrange that a bell be sounded after each file transfer command is completed.binary Set the file transfer type to support binary image transfer.bye Terminate the FTP session with the remote server and exit ftp. An end of file will also terminatethe session and exit.case Toggle remote computer file name case mapping during mget commands. When case is on (default isoff), remote computer file names with all letters in upper case are written in the local directorywith the letters mapped to lower case.cd remote-directoryChange 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 workingdirectory.chmod mode file-nameChange the permission modes of the file file-name on the remote system to mode.close Terminate the FTP session with the remote server, and return to the command interpreter. Anydefined macros are erased.cr Toggle carriage return stripping during ascii type file retrieval. Records are denoted by a car‐riage return/linefeed sequence during ascii type file transfer. When cr is on (the default), car‐riage returns are stripped from this sequence to conform with the UNIX single linefeed record delim‐iter. Records on non-UNIX remote systems may contain single linefeeds; when an ascii type transferis made, these linefeeds may be distinguished from a record delimiter only when cr is off.qc Toggle the printing of control characters in the output of ASCII type commands. When this is turnedon, control characters are replaced with a question mark if the output file is the standard output.This is the default when the standard output is a tty.delete remote-fileDelete the file remote-file on the remote machine.debug [debug-value]Toggle debugging mode. If an optional debug-value is specified it is used to set the debugginglevel. When debugging is on, ftp prints each command sent to the remote machine, preceded by thestring ‘-->’dir [remote-directory] [local-file]Print a listing of the directory contents in the directory, remote-directory, and, optionally, plac‐ing the output in local-file. If interactive prompting is on, ftp will prompt the user to verifythat the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving dir output. If no directory isspecified, the current working directory on the remote machine is used. If no local file is speci‐fied, or local-file is -, output comes to the terminal.disconnect A synonym for close.form formatSet the file transfer form to format. The default format is “file”.get remote-file [local-file]Retrieve the remote-file and store it on the local machine. If the local file name is not speci‐fied, it is given the same name it has on the remote machine, subject to alteration by the currentcase, ntrans, and nmap settings. The current settings for type, form, mode, and structure are usedwhile transferring the file.glob Toggle filename expansion for mdelete, mget and mput. If globbing is turned off with glob, the filename arguments are taken literally and not expanded. Globbing for mput is done as in csh(1). Formdelete and mget, each remote file name is expanded separately on the remote machine and the listsare not merged. Expansion of a directory name is likely to be different from expansion of the nameof an ordinary file: the exact result depends on the foreign operating system and ftp server, andcan be previewed by doing ‘mls remote-files -’ Note: mget and mput are not meant to transfer entiredirectory subtrees of files. That can be done by transferring a tar(1) archive of the subtree (inbinary mode).hash [increment]Toggle hash-sign (``#'') printing for each transferred data block, but only in the absence of anargument. The size of a data block is set to 1024 bytes by default, but can be changed by the argu‐ment increment, which also accepts the suffixed multipliers 'k' and 'K' for kilobytes, 'm' and 'M'for Megabytes, and finally 'g' and 'G' for Gigabytes. Setting a size activates hash printing uncon‐ditionally.help [command]Print an informative message about the meaning of command. If no argument is given, ftp prints alist of the known commands.idle [seconds]Set the inactivity timer on the remote server to seconds seconds. If seconds is omitted, the cur‐rent inactivity timer is printed.ipany Allow the address resolver to return any address family.ipv4 Restrict the address resolver to look only for IPv4 addresses.ipv6 Restrict host adressing to IPv6 only.lcd [directory]Change the working directory on the local machine. If no directory is specified, the user's homedirectory is used.ls [remote-directory] [local-file]Print a listing of the contents of a directory on the remote machine. The listing includes any sys‐tem-dependent information that the server chooses to include; for example, most UNIX systems willproduce output from the command ‘ls -l’. (See also nlist.) If remote-directory is left unspeci‐fied, the current working directory is used. If interactive prompting is on, ftp will prompt theuser to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving ls output. Ifno local file is specified, or if local-file is ‘-’, the output is sent to the terminal.macdef macro-nameDefine a macro. Subsequent lines are stored as the macro macro-name; a null line (consecutive new‐line characters in a file or carriage returns from the terminal) terminates macro input mode. Thereis a limit of 16 macros and 4096 total characters in all defined macros. Macros remain defineduntil a close command is executed. The macro processor interprets `$' and `\' as special charac‐ters. A `$' followed by a number (or numbers) is replaced by the corresponding argument on themacro invocation command line. A `$' followed by an `i' signals that macro processor that the exe‐cuting macro is to be looped. On the first pass `$i' is replaced by the first argument on the macroinvocation 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 treatmentof the `$'.mdelete [remote-files]Delete the remote-files on the remote machine.mdir remote-files local-fileLike dir, except multiple remote files may be specified. If interactive prompting is on, ftp willprompt the user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving mdiroutput.mget remote-filesExpand the remote-files on the remote machine and do a get for each file name thus produced. Seeglob for details on the filename expansion. Resulting file names will then be processed accordingto case, ntrans, and nmap settings. Files are transferred into the local working directory, whichcan be changed with ‘lcd directory’; new local directories can be created with ‘! mkdir directory’.mkdir directory-nameMake a directory on the remote machine.mls remote-files local-fileLike nlist, except multiple remote files may be specified, and the local-file must be specified. Ifinteractive prompting is on, ftp will prompt the user to verify that the last argument is indeed thetarget 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-nameShow the last modification time of the file on the remote machine.mput local-filesExpand wild cards in the list of local files given as arguments and do a put for each file in theresulting list. See glob for details of filename expansion. Resulting file names will then be pro‐cessed according to ntrans and nmap settings.newer file-name [local-file]Get the file only if the modification time of the remote file is more recent that the file on thecurrent system. If the file does not exist on the current system, the remote file is considerednewer. 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 leftunspecified, the current working directory is used. If interactive prompting is on, ftp will promptthe user to verify that the last argument is indeed the target local file for receiving nlist out‐put. 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 filename mapping mechanism. If no arguments are specified, the filename mappingmechanism is unset. If arguments are specified, remote filenames are mapped during mput commandsand 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 localtarget filename. This command is useful when connecting to a non-UNIX remote computer with differ‐ent file naming conventions or practices. The mapping follows the pattern set by inpattern andoutpattern. [Inpattern] is a template for incoming filenames (which may have already been processedaccording to the ntrans and case settings). Variable templating is accomplished by including thesequences `$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 outpatterndetermines the resulting mapped filename. The sequences `$1', `$2', ...., `$9' are replaced by anyvalue resulting from the inpattern template. The sequence `$0' is replace by the original filename.Additionally, the sequence ‘[seq1, seq2]’ is replaced by [seq1] if seq1 is not a null string; other‐wise it is replaced by seq2. For example, the commandnmap $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 inputfilename ".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 `,' char‐acters.ntrans [inchars [outchars]]Set or unset the filename character translation mechanism. If no arguments are specified, the file‐name character translation mechanism is unset. If arguments are specified, characters in remotefilenames are translated during mput commands and put commands issued without a specified remotetarget filename. If arguments are specified, characters in local filenames are translated duringmget commands and get commands issued without a specified local target filename. This command isuseful when connecting to a non-UNIX remote computer with different file naming conventions or prac‐tices. Characters in a filename matching a character in inchars are replaced with the correspondingcharacter in outchars. If the character's position in inchars is longer than the length ofoutchars, 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 ison (default), ftp will also attempt to automatically log the user in to the FTP server (see below).prompt Toggle interactive prompting. Interactive prompting occurs during multiple file transfers to allowthe user to selectively retrieve or store files. If prompting is turned off (default is on), anymget or mput will transfer all files, and any mdelete will delete all files.proxy ftp-commandExecute an ftp command on a secondary control connection. This command allows simultaneous connec‐tion to two remote ftp servers for transferring files between the two servers. The first proxy com‐mand 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 behavedifferently 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 theprimary control connection to the host on the secondary control connection, and put, mput, andappend transfer files from the host on the secondary control connection to the host on the primarycontrol connection. Third party file transfers depend upon support of the ftp protocol PASV commandby 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 nameis used after processing according to any ntrans or nmap settings in naming the remote file. Filetransfer 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.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 ispresumed to be a partially transferred copy of remote-file and the transfer is continued from theapparent point of failure. If local-file does not exist ftp won't fetch the file. This command isuseful when transferring very large files over networks that are prone to dropping connections.remotehelp [command-name]Request help from the remote FTP server. If a command-name is specified it is supplied to theserver as well.remotestatus [file-name]With no arguments, show status of remote machine. If file-name is specified, show status offile-name on remote machine.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 ftpserver. Resynchronization may be necessary following a violation of the ftp protocol by the remoteserver.restart markerRestart the immediately following get or put at the indicated marker. On UNIX systems, marker isusually a byte offset into the file.rmdir directory-nameDelete a directory on the remote machine.runique Toggle storing of files on the local system with unique filenames. If a file already exists with aname 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. Ifthis process continues up to ".99", an error message is printed, and the transfer does not takeplace. The generated unique filename will be reported. Note that runique will not affect localfiles 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 establish‐ing a connection for each data transfer. The use of PORT commands can prevent delays when perform‐ing multiple file transfers. If the PORT command fails, ftp will use the default data port. Whenthe use of PORT commands is disabled, no attempt will be made to use PORT commands for each datatransfer. This is useful for certain FTP implementations which do ignore PORT commands but, incor‐rectly, indicate they've been accepted.site arg1 arg2 ...The arguments specified are sent, verbatim, to the remote FTP server as a SITE command.size file-nameReturn size of file-name on remote machine.status Show the current status of ftp.struct [struct-name]Set the file transfer structure to struct-name. By default “stream” structure is used.sunique Toggle storing of files on remote machine under unique file names. Remote ftp server must supportftp protocol STOU command for successful completion. The remote server will report unique name.Default value is off.system Show the type of operating system running on the remote machine.tenex Set the file transfer type to that needed to talk to TENEX machines.trace Toggle packet tracing.type [type-name]Set the file transfer type to type-name. If no type is specified, the current type is printed. Thedefault type is network ASCII.umask [newmask]Set the default umask on the remote server to newmask. If newmask is omitted, the current umask isprinted.user user-name [password] [account]Identify yourself to the remote FTP server. If the password is not specified and the serverrequires it, ftp will prompt the user for it (after disabling local echo). If an account field isnot specified, and the FTP server requires it, the user will be prompted for it. If an accountfield is specified, an account command will be relayed to the remote server after the login sequenceis 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 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 efficiencyof the transfer are reported. By default, verbose is on.? [command]A synonym for help.Command arguments which have embedded spaces may be quoted with quote `"' marks.ABORTING A FILE TRANSFERTo abort a file transfer, use the terminal interrupt key (usually Ctrl-C). Sending transfers will be immedi‐ately halted. Receiving transfers will be halted by sending a ftp protocol ABOR command to the remote server,and discarding any further data received. The speed at which this is accomplished depends upon the remoteserver's support for ABOR processing. If the remote server does not support the ABOR command, an ‘ftp>’ promptwill 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 awaitinga 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 delayresults from unexpected remote server behavior, the local ftp program must be killed by hand.FILE NAMING CONVENTIONSFiles 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 shellcommand. Ftp then forks a shell, using popen(3) with the argument supplied, and reads (writes) from thestdout (stdin). If the shell command includes spaces, the argument must be quoted; e.g. “" ls -lt"”. Aparticularly 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 rulesused in the csh(1); c.f. the 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 remotefilename, which may be altered by a case, ntrans, or nmap setting. The resulting filename may then bealtered if runique is on.5. For mput commands and put commands with unspecified remote file names, the remote filename is the localfilename, which may be altered by a ntrans or nmap setting. The resulting filename may then be altered bythe remote server if sunique is on.FILE TRANSFER PARAMETERSThe 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 theascii 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.ENVIRONMENTFtp utilizes the following environment variables.HOME For default location of a .netrc file, if one exists.SHELL For default shell.
pftp -d ...