Essential FTP commands for easy file transfer between systems

FTP is an important TCP/IP utility that facilitates file transfer between different systems. One of its most popular and compelling features is its compatibility with a diverse range of remote hosts. You can transfer files between remote Windows 2000, Windows NT, and UNIX systems. As such, FTP is a widely used among webmasters as a useful tool to move files from one location to other.

To start the text-based FTP utility, simply enter ftp at the command prompt. Here are some very useful commands to get you started on file transfer:


Accesses the ftp command interpreter

ftp remote-system

Establishes an ftp connection to a remote system.

open / close 

Logs in to / out of the remote system from the command interpreter.


Lists all ftp commands and if given a particular command name, it briefly describes what that command does.


Lists the contents of the remote working directory.

mkdir / rmdir

Creates / deletes a directory on the remote system.

put, mput

Copies a file (or multiple files) from the local working directory to the remote working directory.


Copies files in binary mode (as raw data). Examples of binary files would be .wav, .jpg, .gif, and mp3 files.


Copies files in ascii mode. Examples of ascii files would be .txt, .asp, .html, and .php files.

These are a few essential FTP commands to help you transfer between different systems. We hope they all prove useful to you!

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