List of raw FTP commands

Warning: this is a technical document, not necessary for most FTP use.

Note that commands marked with * are not implemented in a number of FTP servers.

Common commands

Less common commands


ABOR

Syntax: ABOR

Aborts a file transfer currently in progress.

ACCT*

Syntax: ACCT account-info

This command is used to send account information on systems that require it. Typically sent after a PASS command.

ALLO

Syntax: ALLO size [R max-record-size]

Allocates sufficient storage space to receive a file. If the maximum size of a record also needs to be known, that is sent as a second numeric parameter following a space, the capital letter "R", and another space.

APPE

Syntax: APPE remote-filename

Append data to the end of a file on the remote host. If the file does not already exist, it is created. This command must be preceded by a PORT or PASV command so that the server knows where to receive data from.

CDUP

Syntax: CDUP

Makes the parent of the current directory be the current directory.

CWD

Syntax: CWD remote-directory

Makes the given directory be the current directory on the remote host.

DELE

Syntax: DELE remote-filename

Deletes the given file on the remote host.

HELP

Syntax: HELP [command]

If a command is given, returns help on that command; otherwise, returns general help for the FTP server (usually a list of supported commands).

LIST

Syntax: LIST [remote-filespec]

If remote-filespec refers to a file, sends information about that file. If remote-filespec refers to a directory, sends information about each file in that directory. remote-filespec defaults to the current directory. This command must be preceded by a PORT or PASV command.

MDTM

Syntax: MDTM remote-filename

Returns the last-modified time of the given file on the remote host in the format "YYYYMMDDhhmmss": YYYY is the four-digit year, MM is the month from 01 to 12, DD is the day of the month from 01 to 31, hh is the hour from 00 to 23, mm is the minute from 00 to 59, and ss is the second from 00 to 59.

MKD

Syntax: MKD remote-directory

Creates the named directory on the remote host.

MODE

Syntax: MODE mode-character

Sets the transfer mode to one of:

The default mode is Stream.

NLST

Syntax: NLST [remote-directory]

Returns a list of filenames in the given directory (defaulting to the current directory), with no other information. Must be preceded by a PORT or PASV command.

NOOP

Syntax: NOOP

Does nothing except return a response.

PASS

Syntax: PASS password

After sending the USER command, send this command to complete the login process. (Note, however, that an ACCT command may have to be used on some systems.)

PASV

Syntax: PASV

Tells the server to enter "passive mode". In passive mode, the server will wait for the client to establish a connection with it rather than attempting to connect to a client-specified port. The server will respond with the address of the port it is listening on, with a message like:
227 Entering Passive Mode (a1,a2,a3,a4,p1,p2)
where a1.a2.a3.a4 is the IP address and p1*256+p2 is the port number.

PORT

Syntax: PORT a1,a2,a3,a4,p1,p2

Specifies the host and port to which the server should connect for the next file transfer. This is interpreted as IP address a1.a2.a3.a4, port p1*256+p2.

PWD

Syntax: PWD

Returns the name of the current directory on the remote host.

QUIT

Syntax: QUIT

Terminates the command connection.

REIN*

Syntax: REIN

Reinitializes the command connection - cancels the current user/password/account information. Should be followed by a USER command for another login.

REST

Syntax: REST position

Sets the point at which a file transfer should start; useful for resuming interrupted transfers. For nonstructured files, this is simply a decimal number. This command must immediately precede a data transfer command (RETR or STOR only); i.e. it must come after any PORT or PASV command.

RETR

Syntax: RETR remote-filename

Begins transmission of a file from the remote host. Must be preceded by either a PORT command or a PASV command to indicate where the server should send data.

RMD

Syntax: RMD remote-directory

Deletes the named directory on the remote host.

RNFR

Syntax: RNFR from-filename

Used when renaming a file. Use this command to specify the file to be renamed; follow it with an RNTO command to specify the new name for the file.

RNTO

Syntax: RNTO to-filename

Used when renaming a file. After sending an RNFR command to specify the file to rename, send this command to specify the new name for the file.

SITE*

Syntax: SITE site-specific-command

Executes a site-specific command.

SIZE

Syntax: SIZE remote-filename

Returns the size of the remote file as a decimal number.

STAT

Syntax: STAT [remote-filespec]

If invoked without parameters, returns general status information about the FTP server process. If a parameter is given, acts like the LIST command, except that data is sent over the control connection (no PORT or PASV command is required).

STOR

Syntax: STOR remote-filename

Begins transmission of a file to the remote site. Must be preceded by either a PORT command or a PASV command so the server knows where to accept data from.

STOU

Syntax: STOU

Begins transmission of a file to the remote site; the remote filename will be unique in the current directory. The response from the server will include the filename.

STRU

Syntax: STRU structure-character

Sets the file structure for transfer to one of:

The default structure is File.

SYST

Syntax: SYST

Returns a word identifying the system, the word "Type:", and the default transfer type (as would be set by the TYPE command). For example: UNIX Type: L8

TYPE

Syntax: TYPE type-character [second-type-character]

Sets the type of file to be transferred. type-character can be any of:

For A and E, the second-type-character specifies how the text should be interpreted. It can be: For L, the second-type-character specifies the number of bits per byte on the local system, and may not be omitted.

USER

Syntax: USER username

Send this command to begin the login process. username should be a valid username on the system, or "anonymous" to initiate an anonymous login.

Related:

FTP command - Windows
FTP command - bash


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