Monday, October 08, 2007

Using Mac OS X - Terminal as FTP client

Mac OS X - Terminal, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

Many people don't realize the power of having access to command-line prompt. Recently, Apple has released all its Mac OS included an access to the command-line and since Mac OS is a Unix based this makes all the difference.

Now, if you want to use the terminal (shell, command-line) as your FTP client there is few things we should demonstrate here.

First of all, you will need to know the following information in order for you to access the FTP server. Host name (Domain name or IP address), username & Password. Now, Open your terminal and write to following command:

Connected to
220 FTP Server (A+Net) ready

In the next step you will be asked to enter you username then you will be asked to enter the password. Once you get the below message that means you are logged in:

230 User mughrabi logged in
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.

here are some useful commands you can use once you are logged in:
1. ls = can be used to list the files within the directory.
2. pwd = will show you your current location
3. cd = will allow you to get inside and outside folders.
4. get = followed by the file name, this will download the file from the FTP server.
5. put = followed by the file name, this will upload the file to the FTP server.
6. lcd = this will allow you to specify the directory where you want downloaded files to be placed and uploaded files to be picked up from.

I believe an example will help to understand better, lets say we have a folder "TEST" and there is this file "mo.php" you want to download and then you want to upload "info.php" which is on your desktop.

get mo.php
lcd /Users/Mughrabi/Desktop
put info.php

This basic steps will allow you to access your FTP server, list files and folders, browse in and out from folders and download/upload files. Enjoy using your built-in command line interface and if you have any further questions please feel free to put them on.

UPDATE: Another copy of this blog entry is posted on ( )


3baid said...

I tried it but it kept saying the password was wrong! Hehe, just kidding ;P

There's a free opensource FTP client called Cyberduck for OS X. Download it; it'll make life practical.

Anonymous said...

command line 4 life

AtomWorks said...


Cyberduck is the only way I really FTP, I can't imagine bulk uploading from command... but its well worth knowing some command lines. If you look after a lot of web clients chances are at one point it'll be a life saver!

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Can anyone recommend the robust Remote Management tool for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use or How do they compare to these guys I found recently: N-able N-central asset management
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Thanks a LOT mate!

Command Line 4 Life.

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command line 4 life. represent. i been coding this shit since before i was out the diaper.

Anonymous said...

hey i'm trying to connect to a server through my terminal on macbook pro and i got this error message:
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i have already connected to other servers in the same terminal on mac and everything was fine but not for another specific one...what should i do pls?? thks!

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@ Can't connect:

If you canot establish a connection, it is my experience that the port IS NOT OPEN. Someone is not listening to your request. Try remoting to your server and checking the port is open. If you don't have access, try connecting from another ip. If same result, bump to an admin with access.

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what are you doing about irapp: ?

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Thank u man! Terminal 4Life

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