How to Install and Use FTP



FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and it is used for transmitting files between computers on the internet. It is widely used to upload and download files to or from a site. FTP lets you establish connections even without authentication. To prevent this feature, you are allowed to set a username and password so that anonymous users are blocked from FTP client. When registered users authenticate with proper credentials, the FTP client program will initiate a connection to the system running FTP server software. Once the connection is established, the client can send or receive files. Anonymous FTP login is set up when the content is meant to be distributed widely.


How to Install FTP?


FTP is generally considered to be easy to install on a virtual private server. Almost every FTP server has practical and readily available defaults that can be used easily. Since the text is not encrypted while FTP transfer, it is not considered to be a secure protocol. However, you can improve the security settings by disabling anonymous login and chrooting registered users to their own directories.


When it comes to the installation of FTP on a VPS, there are a large number of FTP programs to consider. ProFTPD and VSFTPD are the two FTP programs commonly used.

You can find how to install VSFTPD on Ubuntu 12.04 here,


ProFTPD on Ubuntu 12.04 in this tutorial.


How to Use FTP?


Once the FTP client is installed and configured on your virtual server, you can start using it for making connections through browser or your command line. Here, we will be covering the usage through command line.

For accessing the FTP over command line, you need to type in the following command:


It will ask your login password. In case if you are planning for an anonymous login, then just type ‘anonymous’ and fill out the password with your email address. Once the connection is established, you can start transferring the files between machines. Here is a rundown of useful commands that comes handy in using FTP:

  • put – It copies the file from local system to the remote server.
  • mput – It copies multiple files from your local system to remote server.
  • get – It retrieves the file from remote server and download it to your local machine.
  • mget – This option retrieves multiple files from remote server and downloads them to your local machine.
  • ls – It lists the files in the current directory.
  • cd – this command is used to change the directory on remote server.
  • pwd – It will provide you with the pathname of remote computer’s directory.
  • delete – It will delete the file on a remote server.
  • mdelete – It deletes multiple files on remote server.
  • help – It will provide you with a list of available commands.
  • exit – It closes the FTP connection and lets you out.


Another alternative for accessing a remote FTP server is by using your browser. Open up your browser and type in the address into the url as shown:

You can replace it with the actual names.



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