Jordan Savant # Software Engineer

FTP/SFTP Command Line Connections

Open a connection with FTP

$ ftp

Or with SFTP, most of the operations below match, minus the passive modes since it uses SSH.

$ sftp -P [port] [user]@[sftp-host]

For FTP (not SFTP) enter passive mode so that it won't try and use the same port for access and for commands

  • FTP is old and it required two points, one to connect with the accessor and one to send data
  • Generally this is not setup so the passive mode makes the connection with each request
ftp> passive

Connect to an FTP server

ftp> open
Connected to
220 (vsFTPd 3.0.3)
Name ( UserNameHere
331 Please specify the password.
230 Login successful.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.

Find out what commands are available

ftp> help
Commands may be abbreviated.  Commands are:

!               dir             mdelete         qc              site
$               disconnect      mdir            sendport        size
account         exit            mget            put             status
append          form            mkdir           pwd             struct
ascii           get             mls             quit            system
bell            glob            mode            quote           sunique
binary          hash            modtime         recv            tenex
bye             help            mput            reget           tick
case            idle            newer           rstatus         trace
cd              image           nmap            rhelp           type
cdup            ipany           nlist           rename          user
chmod           ipv4            ntrans          reset           umask
close           ipv6            open            restart         verbose
cr              lcd             prompt          rmdir           ?
delete          ls              passive         runique
debug           macdef          proxy           send
ftp> ls
227 Entering Passive Mode (52,22,81,201,47,31).
150 Here comes the directory listing.
drwxrwx--x    2 ftp      ftp          4096 Jul 02 15:59 STS use only - completed
drwxrwx--x    2 ftp      ftp          4096 Jul 08 16:30 download
drwxrwx--x    2 ftp      ftp          4096 Jul 08 16:36 upload
226 Directory send OK.
ftp> exit
221 Goodbye.