Ftpfs dials the TCP file transfer protocol (FTP) port, 21, on
system and mounts itself (see bind(2)) on mountpoint (default
/n/ftp) to provide access via FTP to files on the remote machine.
Ftpfs attempts to use FTP's `passive' mode but falls back to using
`active' mode if that fails. If required by the remote machine,
ftpfs will ask factotum(4) for a key matching the pattern|
(If factotum does not have such a key, factotum will prompt the
user for one.)
The user names ftp and anonymous conventionally offer guest/read–only
access to machines. Anonymous FTP may be called without using
factotum by using the –a option and specifying the password.
By default the file seen at the mount point is the user's remote
home directory if he has one. The option –/ forces the mount point
to correspond to the remote root. The option –r forces the mount
point to correspond to the remote directory remoteroot.
To avoid seeing startup messages from the server use option –q.
To see all messages from the server use option –d.
Some systems will hangup an ftp connection that has no activity
for a given period. The –K option causes ftp to send a NOP command
every 15 seconds to attempt to keep the connection open. This
command can cause some servers to hangup, so you'll have to feel
The –t option causes ftpfs to negotiate TLS encryption with the
To terminate the connection, unmount (see bind(1)) the mount point.
Since there is no specified format for metadata retrieved in response
to an FTP directory request, ftpfs has to apply heuristics to
steer the interpretation. Sometimes, though rarely, these heuristics
fail. The following options are meant as last resorts to try to
A major clue to the heuristics is the operating system at the
other end. Normally this can be determined automatically using
the FTP SYST command. However, in some cases the server doesn't
implement the SYST command. The –o option will force the case by
specifying the name of the operating system. Known
system types are: UNIX, SUN, TOPS, Plan9, VM, VMS, MVS, NetWare,
OS/2, TSO, and WINDOWS_NT.
Some systems and/or FTP servers return directory listings that
don't include the file extension. The –e option allows the user
to specify an extension to append to all remote files (other than
Finally, there are two FTP commands to retrieve the contents of
a directory, LIST and NLST. LIST is approximately equivalent to
ls –l and NLST to ls. Ftpfs normally uses LIST. However, some FTP
servers interpret LIST to mean, give a wordy description of the
file. Ftpfs normally notices this and switches to using
NLST. However, in some rare cases, the user must force the use
of NLST with the –n option.
proto=pass service=ftp server=system user? !password? keyspec|