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FTP / Fetch - File Transfer Protocol
FTP - Windows Fetch - Mac

Using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)


There are significant differences between the FTP programs distributed in the Network Services Kit versions for Macs and for Windows. This document explains how to use Windows WS-FTP; there's a link above to the Mac Fetch document.

What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is used to transfer files from one computer to another. You can use FTP to move files such as word processing files, HTML pages for the World Wide Web, and text files between your local computer and UIC machines such as Tigger, Icarus, and Mailserv.

For extensive information on FTP, please see File Transfer and FTP.

Logging In to a Remote Site
  • When you start FTP, it should open with the Session Properties dialog box.
  • This dialog box lets you to select a profile/machine (e.g. Icarus). You can select from a list of predefined machines by clicking on the black arrow that points down and which appears to the right of the profile name. The UIC machine names and addresses that have been preloaded are Bert, Ernie, Icarus, and Tigger. Click once on the name of the machine with which you wish to connect.
    You can also enter a name of a computer not listed (the name can be anything that will help you remember it).
  • The Host name and the Host type are automatically filled in by the program. If you entered the name of a new machine, you will need to enter the hostname (for Icarus for example, the hostname is, leave host type as automatic detect.
  • Type in your login name for that machine (netid for tigger or icarus) in the field labeled User ID:. If want this information to be remembered next time, click on the SAVE button. If you selected another machine, you need to enter the login name on that machine.
    For machines that allow anonymous ftp, check the box next to Anonymous and enter your email address (e.g. as the password.
  • Click OK. FTP will connect to the remote machine; the remote machine will send back a request for your password. Enter it in the dialogue box, and click OK.
Transferring Files:
  • The files listed in the left-hand window are located on your local computer (whatever computer you happen to be working on); the files in the right-hand window are located on the host computer (e.g. Icarus).
  • To transfer a file from your local computer to a remote site, select the desired file in the left column and click on the arrow pointing to the right column. The file will automatically transfer over to the host computer. (You can download information from the host computer to the home computer by reversing this procedure: select from the right column and hit the arrow pointing to the left column). You can change directories by clicking on the name of the directory, such as public_html for people uploading web pages.
  • FTP can also act as a file manager. The buttons include Chg dir (change directory) Mk dir (make directory) and Rm dir (remove directory). The View button allows you to select a text file and open it in an appropriate application for reading (Note Pad is usually the default).
Binary and ascii
  • You must choose between binary and ascii formats - ascii is used for text formats only, such as files ending with the extension .txt or HTML web pages; word processing (Word Perfect, for example) files are NOT ascii files, as they have been written in binary format by the word processor.
  • Sending an ascii file using a binary protocol often works. However, the end-of-line conventions between unix, mac, windows, and CMS differ. ASCII will properly translate end-of-line, but binary will not.
  • Sending a binary file using an ascii protocol will destroy the copy of the file you have selected for download (though it will not affect the original copy.)
  • Most files, and all executables ("programs") are binary. Graphics are also binary.
  • When in doubt, use either binary or auto. Reserve ascii for text only transmissions such as downloading e-mail files. Don't spend an hour downloading a file only to find it is useless because you downloaded it in the wrong format.
FTP Help

For any detailed questions about FTP, just go to FTP Help and click on the Search button to do a search or click on the appropriate link.

FTP Next:  Fetch - Mac

2002-1-23  CSO
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