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Transfer files through FTP | Command line

A command line FTP utility is available on Windows and Mac OS X and can be used without installing additional software. Command line FTP is a reliable tool for transferring files. You can also use it for testing when troubleshooting problems with the Dreamweaver or UltraDev FTP client. The instructions provided below show you how to use the command line FTP utility for Windows and Mac OS X.

Note: This TechNote provides basic instructions for using the command line FTP utility. For more detailed information, consult the documentation for your operating system.



To launch command line FTP utility, go to Start > Run and enter"cmd" into the Open field of the run dialog box. Click OK or press enter.

Note: If using Windows 98/95/Me, enter "command" instead of"cmd".


To change to a local directory that contains your site files, type cd followed by the path to the desired directory after the prompt.

Example: If your site files are stored in c:\sites\my_site, enter cd c:\sites\my_site.

3 At the prompt, enter ftp + FTP server name and press enter.

Note: The server name would be the same as the ftp host name used in the define sites dialog box in Dreamweaver and UltraDev.

Example: ftp


You are prompted to enter a user name. Following the prompt, enter the user name for the FTP account and press enter.

Note: If you are connecting to an FTP server that allows anonymous FTP, you don't need a valid account. However, use the preconfigured account called ftp (ftp is the same as anonymous) to access the server.


Enter your password when the password prompt appears and press enter.

Note:For security reasons, the password entered is not displayed on the screen.


When the' Login successful' message appears, you have successfully connected. You now know that the ftp server is up and running and that you can successfully connect to it from your machine.
At the ftp> prompt, you can run any FTP commands. To get a listing of acceptable FTP commands, simply enter a question mark (?) and press enter.

Note: You still see a list of FTP commands even if you are not successfully connected to the FTP server.

Commonly used FTP commands:

ls: directory listing equivalent to dir.
ls -l: long directory listing, more detail.
pwd: display the name of current directory.
cd: change directory.
lcd: change the local current directory.
get: to download the file from the FTP server.
put: to transfer file and place it on the FTP server.
mget: to download multiple files from the FTP server.
mput: to transfer multiple files to the FTP server.
prompt: to turn on/off interactive mode.
binary: to turn on binary mode.
ascii: to turn on ascii mode.
delete: to turn a file on FTP server.
status: to display how the current FTP session is configured.
mkdir: to make directory on FTP server.
quit/close/bye/disconnect: to disconnect from the FTP server.

Note: All FTP commands are case sensitive and in lower case.

Mac OS X

1 To launch terminal, choose Hard Drive > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
2 At the UNIX shell prompt, you can change the current directory by typing cd + the path to the desired directory.
3 At the UNIX shell prompt, enter ftp + the FTP host name and press return.
4 Follow Windows steps 4 - 6.

Additional information

For more information concerning troubleshooting FTP connection in Dreamweaver or UltraDev, see Troubleshooting FTP issues (TechNote 14834).


Keywords: FTP; command line ftp; terminal

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