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How do I... Use the Windows Vista FTP command line utility?

By Steven Warren

Command line

This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic blog post and download.

Now that I am on my command-line kick these days, I wanted to show you how to take advantage of a free command-line FTP utility that comes packaged with Windows Vista. Why pay money for some software when you can take advantage of software you already paid for. There is no glamour and glitz or eye candy here-just straight-up hard knocks command line.

Let's begin by choosing the Start orb and typing cmd in the Instant Search field as shown.

13 comments
januszj
januszj

Note that you should never use the FTP protocol simply because it sends your password in plain text. It does not matter if you would use it from command line or GUI client. Simply do not use it at all (if you care for your password of course). There are other protocols and tools allowing for safe connections to remote servers (scp with winscp being an example). And by the way: command line ftp tool isn't new nor is it specific to Vista or any Windows system. FTP is one of the oldest net protocols :).

tgolba
tgolba

I'm looking for a decent cheap sFTP package

Researcher75
Researcher75

ftp? is not recognised in my version of Vista???

cuteswan
cuteswan

I guess for newbies in a bind this might be somewhat helpful. However, according to your screen-shots it looks like MS' FTP still doesn't support passive mode, so it's not going to work properly through many types of firewalls. (I don't know if the new version of MSIE have passive FTP support, either, but as of 6.x it did not.) Anyway, what's your next article going to be? How to make a text file of a directory listing using the amazing "dir" command? Or perhaps it should be something a little more cutting-edge like that new-fangled "xcopy" thing. (Actually, that would be useful since it can also copy owner and security information, select files by date or archive attribute, etc.)

philipjubb
philipjubb

Outstanding. I had forgotten that ftp still existed. Perhaps the days of DOS are returning? PhilipTheOld www.oldagepensioners.com

rshaw
rshaw

Actually, this has been included in the Windows command line since Windows 98 and possibly earlier. It's not exactly a "Vista-exclusive" utility. Or maybe it's part of the Vista Ultimate upgrade?

Researcher75
Researcher75

Nothing happened when I started this procedure, cmd brought cmd.exe which I clicked on, which in turn brought up the dos window, I then entered ftp as instructed but nothing more happened???

Sharpman
Sharpman

Type 'ftp' without the quotes, then press the Enter key you should see: ftp> type '?' then press the Enter key Then you will get the list of commands

iaingeddes
iaingeddes

I admit that I am a little surprised at this article. As a previous post mentioned, command line ftp has been available in Windows ever since Windows 98 ... it's not exactly earth shattering!! To get away from the command line, simply open Internet explorer and type: ftp://servername Right click for "Login As", enter your details and voila ... navigate, drag and drop to your hearts content! Bookmark the page that you navigate to and it gets even easier in future. Obviously if you're feeling really adventurous you can always install a dedicated ftp client - there are plenty of open-source (free) packages available

jks001
jks001

It may be version specific. In US, it is Vista Business and I suspect in "Ultimate". -J