When using FTP, why might programs and files fail to transfer properly?
Note: When you have a choice between using secure FTP (SFTP) or FTP, you should choose SFTP. For more information, see What is SFTP, and how do I use an SFTP client to transfer files?
When using FTP, files in any format other than plain ASCII
text (e.g., executable files, compressed files, or images) must be
transferred as binary files. To do this with most command
line FTP clients (e.g., when running FTP from the DOS or
Unix shell prompt), at the
With Kermit, at the Kermit prompt, enter:set file type binary
With Zmodem, use the
-b flag to specify a
Graphic FTP clients like Transmit and Hummingbird FTP typically have options that allow you to specify a binary transfer.
Be aware that you usually cannot transfer and run a program from one operating system to another. For example, you can't run a DOS program in Unix, nor a program compiled for IRIX in AIX. Also, some programs will not run unless you also transfer all of their support programs, libraries, and preference files.
Additionally, if the server only accepts SFTP connections, attempts to use FTP to transfer files will fail.
At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?
Last modified on June 21, 2013.