Take from

The Internet Complete Reference, Second Edition, Hahn

Chapters 18 - 20


Please note that FTP is no longer supported by the Computer Science department at FSU. The information below is archival and not intended for present use.


On This Page:

What is FTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows you to download and upload files from and to remote Internet sites.

Download: The process of transferring a file from a remote host to your local machine.

Upload: The process of transferring a file from your local machine to a remote host.

FTP sites on which you have a network account will allow you to login with your user name and password to access files. For instance, you can access ftp.cs.fsu.edu, login with your username and password and download/upload files from/to your CS account from a remote location. I create all of the pages for our class Web page at home using Word97 then upload them to our class directory for all to access by opening an ftp session to ftp.cs.fsu.edu with my ftp client program, wsftppro.

Some ftp servers allow limited access to their file system to anonymous logins. A user may login with the word "anonymous" and their email address for a password.

Command Line FTP

To ftp from the command line use the ftp command followed by a space and the name of the ftp server that you wish to access. You will then be prompted for a user name and password (your current username is used as a default).

Once logged on you may issue ftp commands at the ftp prompt.

Commonly used commands:

Command Effect
pwd, cd, ls File and directory manipulation at remote computer.
bin Sets ftp to transfer a binary file.
ascii Sets ftp to transfer an ascii file (default).
get filename Downloads a file named filename.
put filename Uploads a file named filename.
? Provides a list of FTP commands.
bye Closes the ftp session.


Tip: Start ftp from the directory to which you want to download/upload files.

FTP GUI Clients

There are some outstanding FTP GUI Clients available for all the popular windowing environments. These offer you more control over your FTP sessions. I recommend wsftppro.

FTP via Netscape

Anonymous FTP is available through your Web browser. Just type in the ftp server address preceded by ftp:// for the URL. Your browser will log you in automatically.


Archie is a search tool to Anonymous FTP files.

You can run Xarchie from the Xwindows environment (for max cotrol) or access Archie via the Web.


Archie Specs

Search For:


Search Type: Exact, Sub String, Substring (case insensitive), Regular Expression


Output Format:

Path restriction or exclusion:


Maximum Hits :

Maximum Match :


FTP Tutorial

Command Line Account FTP

From the xi command prompt start an FTP session to our departments ftp server by typing ftp ftp.cs.fsu.edu

Logon with your usual username and password.

At the ftp prompt type ? to view all ftp commands (see our text book for an explanation of all commands).

At the ftp prompt type pwd to see what directory your viewing. You should be in your home directory.

At the ftp prompt type ls to view the directory listing.

If you were logging in from another network account you could use the get or put commands to download or upload files from/to your cs account. Since this is obviously not necessary (because your ftp'ing from your account), we'll close this ftp session.

At the ftp prompt type bye

Command Line Anonymous FTP

Start another ftp session with our cs department ftp server. At the xo command prompt type ftp ftp.cs.fsu.edu

This time use the username anonymous and your email address for the password.

At the ftp prompt type pwd to see what directory your viewing. You should be in the cs departments anonymous ftp directory which will appear as th root directory (/).

At the ftp prompt type ls to view the directory listing.

At the ftp prompt type cd pub to change to the pub (public) directory.

At the ftp prompt type ls to view the directory listing.

At the ftp prompt type cd admission-info to change to that directory.

Lets download the Index file. Use the following command get Index

End the ftp session with bye and view the file you just downloaded (just to prove that the download worked).

Note: Index is a ASCII file which is the default file type for ftp. If we had wanted to download a binary file we would have first needed to set ftp to binary mode with the bin command. Most files that you will e nd up downloading are binary -so watch out! If you download a binary file in ASCII mode it will become corrupt.


FTP'ing with Netscape


Try ftp'ing to ftp.cs.fsu.edu using Netscape. All you need to do is type ftp://ftp.cs.fsu.edu in the location box.

Note: All ftp access with Netscape is anonymous. Netscape logs you in anonymously automatically.

Check out the following ftp sites recommended by your classmates. You'll find lots of usefull FREE programs to download! If your using Netscape, don't forget to precede the ftp address with ftp://. In most cases y ou'll want to begin your search in the pub directory.










sunsite.unc.edu (a great resource for obtaining Linux OS)

ftp.cdrom.com (The Walnut Creek CD-ROM Ftp Server -more Linux stuff)

oak.oakland.edu (Numerous shareware apps found here)

Here's a few Web page ftp sites:







Two methods of accessing Archie from our lab:

Method 1: Xarchie

From the Linux machines type xarchie at the xi prompt.

From the NT machines start up xwin32, login, and type xarchie at the xi prompt.

Method 2: Web Page Archie Interfaces

Check out the following Web pages: