About FTP

FTP allows you to transfer files from one computer to another. The application we are going to look at is to grab a publicly accessible file and transfer it to your account. Transferring files from your PC to someone else's via the Internet is very specific to the actual hardware and software that you own. It is therefore outside the scope of this guide to review.

Transfer a Publicly Accessible File to Your Own Account

We are going to get the University of Delaware's Responsible Computing Policy Document (UDpolicy.asc), which is stored on the computer zebra.us.udel.edu, in the /pub/UNIV_of_Delaware_Responsible_Computing_Policy directory. To transfer this document to your own account, you need to use anonymous ftp as follows.

  1. At the % prompt type: ftp zebra.us.udel.edu [RET]
  2. At the Name prompt type: anonymous [RET]
  3. You will be asked for a password, type: "your Email address" [RET]
  4. To see a list of directories, type: ls [RET]
  5. One of the directories listed is pub (this is the directory that stores publicly available files). That is the directory we are looking for. Type: cd pub [RET]
  6. To find the file we are looking for, type: cd Univ_of_Delaware_Responsible_Computing_Policy [RET] (cd is a unix command for changing directory)
  7. To list the files in this directory type: ls [RET]
  8. One of the files listed, UDpolicy.asc is the file we want to transfer. To do that type: get UDpolicy.asc [RET]
  9. At the ftp prompt type: quit [RET]
  10. To check the file was transferred successfully, try to access it as follows: at the % prompt type: pico UDpolicy.asc [RET]. It should now appear on your screen. Press: ^v (CONTROL v) a few times to scroll down to the bottom of the document.
    Note the last update date given. This is not a reflection of the currency of UD computing policy, but of using ftp (as opposed to WWW) to distribute information! When done viewing the file, press: ^x (CONTROL x) to exit the file.
If you are transferring a graphics file then you must specify this by typing: bin [RET] before transferring the file.

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The University of Delaware
August, 1996