Ftp crash course

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Ftp is an abbreviation for File transfer protocol, one which is, along with http, widely used in the internet. Ftp lets you download files from servers and also upload them (if you are allowed to write files). How does that work?

First, you will have to connect to the ftp server. You do not need any new software! To connect, just type in the command shell (Unix or DOS prompt):

You type echo
ftp server.domain  
  Welcome at server.domain. (...)
User name:
accountname / anonymous  
  Password required for accountname. or
Anonymous access allowed. Please enter your email address as password.
password / anon@anon.com  
  Welcome. (hopefully)

For instance, to log in at ftp://ftp.myserver.com, type ftp ftp.myserver.com. To log in at ftp://myserver.com, type ftp myserver.com. Now you have logged in. Here are the most important commands that you can use:

command function
ls dir (lists the directory)
cd directory / cd .. change directory (like MS-DOS)
bin switch to binary mode; important: use it before downloading or uploading binary files (e. g. *.zip)!
ascii switch to ASCII mode; important: use it before downloading or uploading text files (e. g. *.txt)!
get filename download file
put filename upload file
help [command] help for a command; help alone lists all commands
bye log out

With these commands, uploading files to an ftp server will be easy. Just type bin, then put filename. Do not forget the bin command before uploading files other than text (e. g. .gif, .exe)! If you have problems, read the server messages and try "help". If it does not help, just type "bye" and log in again. Sometimes ftp servers disconnect (if you are idle for a long time), so logging in again may help.

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