NFTP Frequently Asked Questions

NFTP manual (main part)


  1. NFTP does not work! (or does not work as advertised)
  2. How do I?
  3. Compatibity issues

NFTP does not work! (or does not work as advertised)

NFTP says "emx not found" (OS/2)
You don't have emx runtime package installed. Read INSTALLATION section again.

I have TCP/IP 4.1 and NFTP doesn't work (OS/2)
Update your emx runtime to 0.9d or later. Download it from Hobbes // LEO // SAI OS/2 archive.

I use SOCKS and NFTP doesn't work (OS/2)
Update your emx runtime to 0.9d or later. Download it from Hobbes // LEO // SAI OS/2 archive.

Supplied translation to my language is UGLY
Make your own one (and send to me if you like, and I'll package it with new version of NFTP).

How do I report bug, missing feature or inconsistency in user interface?
Send a message to the author, Sergey Ayukov. Priority is given to registered customers.

My keyboard is always in Russian/Ukrainian/etc. mode! (Win95)
I can't do anything about it. IMHO, this is Windows 95 defect -- you can't switch keyboard layout in Win32 console application. The only solution is to set English layout as default one (Control Panel/Keyboard) and reboot (yes, you do have to reboot). NT does not have this problem.

How do I?

How do I download entire directory tree?
For clarity, I will use the following example: download all DOOM ][ add-on levels from (the directory is /pub/doom2/levels/doom2).

1) Login into and change to /pub/doom2/levels. Note that now you see the "doom2" directory on the screen.

2) Place the cursor over "doom2" directory and press Ins. NFTP will ask whether you really want to walk the subtree /pub/doom2/levels/doom2 (this question will not be asked if you're already been in all subdirs of /pub/doom2/levels/doom2). Answer Yes (remember that walking e.g. "/pub" on could take hours or even days if your connection is slow). NFTP will then automatically change into all subdirectories of /pub/doom2/levels/doom2, caching them in the memory. You can interrupt the process with Esc. When finished, the directory under cursor (doom2) will be highlighted.

3) Now if you like, you can change into the subdirectories of /pub/doom2/levels/doom2 manually and remove marks from unwanted parts of the subtree, e.g. /pub/doom2/levels/doom2/deathmatch. Remember to return back to /pub/doom2/levels/doom2 when you have finished. Use Shift-I to verify how many files/bytes you have marked.

4) Start download with Ctrl-D. NFTP will ask whether you want to keep original directory structure intact. In general, you should respond Yes; the danger of piling up files is that some of them might have the same name. You can stop transfer with Q, skip files with S. With massive transfers (when transferring more than one file), NFTP enters SmartAppend mode: no questions about reget/rename/overwrite will be asked, the decision is based on sizes and time stamps of local and remote files. When transfer completes, you'll have the mirror of the remote subtree on the local disk (symbolic links are ignored).

How do I upload entire directory tree?
Currently, it is not possible. Wait for next version(s).

How AutoReconnect feature works?
In general, you should not worry about connection at all anymore. E.g., when you going out of home, you just hang up and don't switch machine off. When you come back, you dial your provider again and then start working with NFTP which is still running. Of course, connection is long dead, but when you start transfer or change into directory which was not visited yet, NFTP will automatically log in back and do what was requested. Similarly, when connection dies during transfer, current file gets skipped, NFTP reconnects and proceeds to next file. The main advantage is that information you gathered by travelling through remote directories isn't lost when connection is dropped.

Can I do something with symbolic links on ftp server?
You can try to change to directory they represent. Links pointing at files are useless for you. This is assuming you have disabled symlink resolving ('dereference-links' in nftp.ini), otherwise you just won't see them. This option is used only on Unix ftp servers or servers which say they're Unix.

NFTP has crashed and my terminal acts strangely (Unix)
Type "reset" and press Enter. You might not see letters "reset" on the screen but it might do the trick.

How do I do transfer in the background? (Unix)
First, connect to server, mark files and start transfer as usual. Then hit Ctrl-Z. Your shell will say "Stopped nftp". Type "bg" and press Enter. NFTP will continue to run in the background. You may now logout or, if you stay connected, bring NFTP to foreground with "fg". When transfer is completed, NFTP will exit. You can watch transfer progress by typing "ps x" ("ps wx" under Solaris).

What are the "flags" in the bookmark entries?
The following flags can be set in the bookmark entries. They are also preserved in the history records.
p -- use passive mode. PASV mode will be used for that site (except standard IBM TCP/IP servers which do not work well in passive mode).
r -- retry indefinitely. On login error, NFTP will retry regardless of error code or whether it is anonymous site or not.
f -- inside firewall. When firewall support is specified, this site will still be accessed directly.

How do I make file transfer from the command line?
To download single file, use

nftp -G URL

NFTP will disconnect and exit after transfer. If you want to stay connected, use -g instead of -G. To upload single file, use

nftp -P URL

NFTP will disconnect and exit after transfer. If you want to stay connected, use -p instead of -P.

To transfer a batch of files (possibly from different sites), create file (say, cmdfile.txt) and put URLs on separate lines. Prepend URL with + to download file, - to upload. Transfers always use current local directory, and you cannot use wildcard symbols (*, ?) in URLs. Then run

nftp -@ cmdfile.txt

Here URL must be in the form:

[ftp://] [userid [:password] @] hostname [:port] pathname/filename

No spaces are allowed inside; square brackets mark optional parts.

Compatibility issues

Telnet emulators known to work with NFTP
To run NFTP under Unix remotely (say, on your ISP machine) you need some kind of terminal emulator (usually called "telnet"). Unfortunately, not all telnet clients are created equal, and some of them cannot be used to run NFTP. Here's a list of known telnet programs which work (or don't) with NFTP. If you know about some other program which does work for you (or does not), please let me know.


Find telnet emulators: in my collection
TN by Dima Maloff
Somewhat slow, but this one is my favourite now for many useful features (multiple consoles, mouse copy/paste, history, codepage translation). It is free.
Text-mode telnet included with OS/2; TelnetPM included with OS/2
Works in VT220 mode (default). Not quite fast, but very usable. ANSI and VT100 modes do not work (VT100 is black-and-white, ANSI generates some weird key sequences for Home/End/etc.)
ssh telnet emulator
Works fine (in VT100 mode), but Ctrl-Z does not work. Use
   set TERM=vt100
   ssh -l username -c idea hostname
(requires sshd on target machine). NFTP version 1.22+ has a workaround for Ctrl-Z problem.
ZOC by EmTec
Seems to work in VT220 mode. Has lots of emulation options.
term2 from OS2You
reported to work fine

Windows 95/98/NT

Find telnet emulators: on WinFiles.COM, in my collection.
Standard telnet client included with Windows
Works in monochrome mode (use "-m" NFTP option).
TN by Dima Maloff
Somewhat slow, but this one is my favourite now for many useful features (multiple consoles, mouse copy/paste, history, codepage translation). It is free.
Console Telnet 2.0
Seems to work flawlessly. This is a text mode application, and it is completely free and even comes with sources.
CRT 2.2 by Vandyke Technologies
Some keys aren't recognized. Probably can be configured to work after some tweaking.
CommNet Version 2.5, CommNet 32 1.0
Seems to work in ANSI mode.
Console Telnet 0.27
Works erratically, some keys aren't recognized.
EasyTerm 3.4
Works, but some keys aren't recognized.
HyperTerminal Private Edition 3.0
Works erratically, some keys aren't recognized.
KevTerm 1.6
Monochrome mode only
Mocha telnet emulator
Has problems with colours
Should work
Telstar 1.2.4
Does not work
Eric's Telnet 98
Does not work
TeraTerm 2.2
ANSI emulation is a bit buggy, but basically works. Needs keyboard reconfiguration (?). This is free software.
Seems to work
YAWTelnet (Yet Another Winsock Telnet)
No colour support.
winterm from OS2You
reported to work fine

What are the differences between NFTP on OS/2, Windows, Unix, BeOS?
Despite the fact that NFTP is advertised to be the same on all platforms, the imperfections of this world do not allow 100% portability.