File Transfer

You may sometimes need to transfer files one of our computers to another computer, or vice versa. This can often be done using a Web browser, such as netscape. However, you may sometimes need to use the facilities documented below:

  • Transferring files with ftp
  • Transferring files securely with scp

Transferring files using ftp

You can transfer files between computers that are connected to the Internet using the ftp program.
See “man ftp” for details. Here’s an example of how you could transfer a file to fisher, from another computer on which you have an account:

fisher: ftp other-computer

Login in by typing user name and password

get file


This obtains file from the other computer, and stores it under the same name on utstat. To got the other direction, use the put command, or issue the ftp command from the other computer and use get.
You can transfer many files in ftp with the mget command. For example:

mget *.ps

will get all the files ending in .ps. By default, ftp will ask you to confirm whether you want to get each one. This behaviour can be toggled with the prompt command.

Three pitfalls: You sometimes need to issue the “binary” command, to prevent ftp from changing characters in a file of binary data. The permissions on the file stored on utstat may not be what you want. Most importantly, use of ftp exposes you to security risks.

Transferring files using scp

Because of the security problems with ftp, it is better to use scp. We’ll get around to saying how someday. In the meantime, try man scp.

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