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RFC 412 - User FTP Documentation

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Work Information Center # 12404                                 G. Hicks
Request for Comments # 412                                      Utah

                         User FTP Documentation

     The attached document is the HELP file for the Utah-10
implementation of the User FTP Process. This is what the user has
typed on his console when he types 'HELP<cr>', and as such is the only
documention produced to date.

                         FTP User Documentation
                           November 27, 1972

I. Control Characters

      There are several control characters that have meaning to the FTP
Process. First, the abort character is <control-z> (SUB), next for
editing, only <control-r>, <control-a>, <control-h>, <control-v>,
<control-w>, <alt-mode>, <eol>, <space>, <control-x> and <rub-out> have
any meaning, <control-a> (SOH) and <control-h> (BS) are the character
delete keys. <control-w> is the word delete character, Note: When dowing
the ' funktion, this character will delete the entire line typed.
<control-v> says take the next character literally. <alt-mode> (ESC)
terminates the command giving helpful noise words, <eol> and <space> are
terminators also. These last two will give no command completion or
noise words. All three echo as a space however.  <control-x> (CAN) and
<rub-out> (DEL) are the command abort characters. <control-r> (DC2) will
retype the line as the command interpreter sees it. When using the ?  as
a prompter, for initial commands, it will type-out all commands that
begin with that particular character string.  If it is typed in a sub-
command field, it will type out the prompt message only if it is the
first character typed. At all other times, it will be accepted as part
of the typed string.

II. General Information

      The FTP user process is designed to make transferring files from
one host on the ARPANET to another much easier than it has been up until
now. To this end, the command language was designed to be as natural as

      The command interpreter is, of course, part of this idea.
Therefore, to help the user as much as possible, there are several ways
to find out what is expected in the form of commands, file-names, user-
names, etc. When the user has typed nothing, typing a ? will cause the
interpreter to type out all the commands that are available to the user.
If the user has typed anything at all, then it will respond with all
commands that begin with the particular character string.

      So that the command language was as easy to learn as possible, the
command interpreter will 'see' nothing that is not part of a legal
command. If the user types anything that is not expected, the character
is not echoed and a bell is echoed instead.

III. Brief Command Listing

      The commands that are expected and their syntax are listed below.
NOTE: UPPER and lower case letters are identical.

D<decimal host number>
<octal host number>
;<any string> (useful for comments to a person that is
linked to you)
MODE <mode name>
RETREIVE <remote file> (to) <local file>
GET <remote file> (to) <local file>
SEND <local file> (to) <remote file>
STORE <local file> (to) <remote file>
APPEND <local file> (to) <remote file>
RENAME <remote file> (to be) <new remote file name>
DELETE <remote file>
COPY <direction descriptor> <file group> (to) <file group>
     (see detailed description below)
LIST <file group> (to file) <local file name>
ALLOCATE <decimal number of bytes>
   foreign host)
HOST <any valid ARPANET host name or number>
USER <remote user name>
PASSWORD <password for remote user's name>
ACCOUNT <string or number for remote user's name>
STATUS (see description of status command below)
LOGIN <user name> <password> <optional account> <to host>
BYTE <decimal byte size>
TYPE <type descriptor>
STRUCTURE <structure descriptor>

IV. Detailed Description of the Commands

         The commands and their syntax are described in greater detail
   blow. The words in parenthesis are noise words.  NOTE: upper and
   lower case are identical. Unless otherwise noted in the command
   description, all commands described are implemented.

<host name> or <host number>
   Performs the ICP to the indicated host with explanatory remarks if
   the ICP is not possible.

MODE <mode descriptor>
   Sets the mode of the data transfer connection according to the
   following sub-commandos:

   STREAM: bit stream, end of file is indicated by the data connection

   BLOCK: formats (or expects formatted) data into blocks.

   TEXT: Sends or retreives text. Forces TYPE ASCII and BYTE 8. This
   command sends the appropiate commands to the foreign host, then sends
   the data using the TELNET codes for EOR and EOF as per the FTP

   HASP: compress data.

   NOTE: Of the above sub-commands, only MODE STREAM and MODE TEXT are
   implemented at present.

RETREIVE (file) <remote file> (to file) <local file name>
   Sends the retr command to the remote server, sets up the data
   connection according to any previous MODE, TYPE, BYTE commands. Puts
   the data coming on the the data connection into the local file

GET (file) <remote file name> (to file) <local file name>
   See description of RETREIVE.

STORE (local file) <file name> (onto file) <remote file>
   Accepts a local file name, does the formatting according to any
   previous BYTE, TYPE, MODE commands and sends it to the foreign host.

SEND (local file) <file name> (onto file) <remote file>
   See description of STORE.

APPEND (local file) <file name> (to remote file) <remote file>
   Does the same as a store except that the file is appended to the

   remote file rather that just writing over the file.

RENAME (existing file) <file name> (to be) <new file name>
   Accepts the name of n old remote file and asks for a new file name,
   sends the appropiate commands and names to the foreign host causing
   the old file name to be replaced by the new file name.

DELETE (file) <file name>
   This command causes the remote file to be marked for deletion. It
   does require that the command be confirmed twice.

   Takes no arguments. Causes the server to terminate the current
   session with the user. The program will return to the EXEC MODE when
   the command has been acknowledged by the remote server.

   This command does a variety of things. First. it allows the user do
   describe a file group. EG: *.mac, *.sav, etc.  The *'s may be for
   foreign files or local files according to the following sub-commands:

  REMOTE (remote file group) <remote file grouping>:
   Causes the user FTP to ask the server for the file in <remote file
   grouping>. Then asks the user to specify where each file is to go. A
   typical sequence might look like the following:

   !copy remote (remote file group) ftp.*
   Please be patient. Getting remote file names.
   Got them.
   !copy (file) <HICKS>FTP.MAC;| (to file) ftp.mac [New file]
   [Messages and etc. follow with the above line being
   repeated for each file in the remote file group.]

  LOCAL (local file grouping) <local file group>:
   Causes the user FTP to accept the file group specified, and send the
   file names to the server leaving off the <directory name> and version
   number of the local file. The user may not specify *'d devices of *'d
   directorys. A line for this might look like the following:
   !copy local (local file group) ftp.*;*

   Next, if the user does not specify any *'s for either the remote file
   or the local file, this command is exactly like the RETREIVE or STORE
   command described earlier.
   Takes no arguments. See description of BYE command for more details.

   Takes no arguments. Causes the user process to close all connections
   (if necessary), all files (if necessary), and reset the programs
   parameters to their defaults.

   If DDT is loaded, just starts DDT. If DDT is not loaded, it will load
   DDT and then start it at its initial start-up location.  This command
   will casue an abnormal interrupt if DDT is not found.

LIST (file group) <remote file group> (to file) <local file>
   Esentially causes the remote server to do a directory command. The
   default is *.* and since the listing will come on the data connection,
   the user must specify a local file. A sample line might look like the
   following: !list (file group) *.* (going to file) tty: [ok]

SOCKET <socket descriptor>
   Will accept a socket descriptor for the data to go to or come from. At
   present it is NOT IMPLEMENTED because we have not decided on the
   format of the command to the server.

ALLOCATE <decimal number of bytes>
   Accepts as its argument a decimal number of bytes (of the specified
   size) telling the server how many bytes of storage to reserve for the
   next store of append.

   Takes no arguments. Returns the console to the EXEC. The program may
   be continued with no harm done.

   This command allows the user to send arbitrary strings to the remote
   server. At present, when talking to a TENEX site, it is only useful
   for doing the 'MAIL' command.  Other sites may have help commands of

HOST <ARPANET host name of number>
   Allows the user to specify an ARPANET host without actually connecting
   to the host. This specified host will be the ont that is connected to
   (or the attempt will be made anyway) when the next 'immediate' command
   is executed. EG: LOGIN, RETREIVE, STORE, LIST, etc.

USER (name is) <remote user's name>
   Sets the user name for the remote system. Useful for systems that
   require no password for the specified name.  Does nothing until an
   user must be 'logged into' the remote system. The programm knows this
   and so will not let the user execute any commands (RETREIVE, STORE,
   APPEND, LIST, STATUS, RENAME, DELETE) until he has at least specified
   a remote user name. The LOGIN command does this as does this command.

STATUS (of the) <sub-cmd> (at host) <ARPANET host>
   Accepts as its argument one of the following sub-commands:
  SERVICE (at host) <ARPANET host name or number>: Attempts to
   perform the ICP to the specified host. Does not disturb any existing
  <ARPANET host name or number>: See description of STATUS SERVICE

  STATUS (of file) <remote file group>: Similar to the LIST
   command described above except that the listing does not gone back on
   the data connection but on the TELNET connection. See LIST command for
   more details.
  <COMMAND-TERMINATOR>: Just sneds the STAT command.
   Typically, is good for finding out where your are and perhaps who you

PASSWORD (is) <passowrd for remote user's name>
   Sets the password for the remote user's name. It is NOT echoed and
   does nothing until the next 'immediate' command is executed.

ACCOUNT (is) <account number or string>
   Accepts a string of number that can be charged for any activity the
   user specifies. EG: STORE, RETREIVE or APPEND. Useful only for systems
   that require this information of course. Also does nothing until the
   next immediate command is executed.

LOGIN <user name> <password> <optional account>
   the format of this command is identical to the TENEX login command. It
   accepts a user name, password, and an optional account number. If no
   host has been specified, it will ask for the host to be connected to.
   This command will cause the ICP to take place if necessary.

BYTE (size is) <decimal byte size>
   This command sets the byte size for the data connection.  The default
   byte size is 8 bytes.

Type (is) <type descriptor>
   Takes as its argument one of the following subcommands:
  TENEX: Shorthand that sets TYPE IMAGE and BYTE 36.
  EBCDIC: Says that the data will be Ebcdic.
  PRINT: Says that the data is an Ascii print file with ASA vertical
   format controls.
  LOCAL: Forces the user and server FTP to accept whatever
   byte size the user has specified. For the present, this type is
   treated the same as for IMAGE TYPE.
  IMAGE: Does the same as LOCAL. Just forces the user and server FTP to
   accept the specified byte size without doing any translation as is
   done for ASCII type. For most efficient usage of this command, the

   matching byte size should be BYTE 36 when using TENEX sites as
  ASCII: Sets TYPE ASCII and 8 bit bytes. Useful for text files.
   NOTE: Of the above sub-commands, only PRINT and EBCDIC are not
   implemented yet.

STRUCTURE (is) <file structure descriptor>
   Accepts as its argument one of the following sub-commands:
  REDORD: Says the data on the data connection has record
   structure information contained in it. NOTE: Since TENEX NOT support
   record structured files per se, this mode only useful for sending text
   files to or retreiving text files from non-TENEX sites. The <EOL> in
   these files is converted to the TELNET EOR code for transmission and
   EOR to <EOL> etc. for reception.

  File: Says the data stream has no record structure information in it.

   See description under TYPE TENEX.

   See description under TYPE ASCII.

   This command sets the command completion/no completion flag. The
   program assumes the NO VERBOSE mode and thus does not complete
   commands when <space> or <eol> is used as a command terminator It also
   causes the noise words to be typed if in the verbose mode.

V. Sample Session using the FTP

       The following scenario shows some uses of the FTP.
   Everything that the user types is underlined.

   UTAH-TENEX 1.29.03 EXEC 1.38
   JOB 24 ON TTY2 11-NOV-72 1:51
   FTP User Process 1.10 5-NOV-72. Type Help<cr> for help.
   !login (user) network (password) (account) 4 (to host) case-10
   < CASE-10 FTP Server 1.14.0 - at SAT 11-NOV-72 2:00-EST
   !tenex ? confirm with carriage return
   !copy remote (remote group) ftp.*
    Please be patient. Getting remote file-names.
    Got them.
   !copy (file) <NETWORK>FTP.MAC:32 (no file) ftp.mac [new file]
   < IMAGE retreive of <NETWORK>FTP.MAC;32 startet.
   < Transfer completed.
   !copy (file) <NETWORK>FTP.SAV;5 (fo file) FTP.SAV;5 [new version]
   < IMAGE retreive of <NETWORK>FTP.SAV;5 started.
   < Transfer completed.
   !copy (file) <NETWORK>FTP.REL;1 (to file) xxx
   !copy (file) <NETWORK>FTP.HELP;5 (to file) ftp.help [New version]
    copy (file) <NETWORK>FTP.HELP;5 (to file) FTP.HELP;1
   < IMAGE retreive of <NETWORK>FTP.HELP;5 started.
   < Transfer completed.
    Closing connections to CASE-10.
   < USC-ISI FTP Server 1.14.0 - at SAT 11-NOV-72 2:15-PST
   user hicks
   (account) ? account number or string for remote user's name
   (user) hicks
   (account) |
   !send (local file) ftp.sav;5 (to remote file) ftp.sav
   < STORE of <HICKS>FTP.SAV;P777752;a|, IMAGE type, started.
   < Transfer completed.
   !cp r acs.mac (to local file) acs.mac [new file]
   < IMAGE Retreive of <HICKS>ACS.MAC;3 started.

   < Transfer completed.
   !copy 1 ? Local file group, *'s ok - TENEX sites only,
    copy 1 ftp.*
   < Store of <HICKS>FTP.MAC;1;P777752;A1, IMAGE type, Started.
   < Transfer completed.
   < Store of <HICKS>FTP.SAV;2;P777753;A1, IMAGE type, Started.
   < Transfer completed.
   < copy of <HICKS>FTP.HELP;1;P777752;A1 IMAGE type, Started,
   < Transfer completed.
   !< BYE command recieved.
   < Therefore connection terminated.
   [logout message go here]

         [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
         [ into the online RFC archives by Gottfried Janik 6/97 ]


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