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NCFTP is an enhanced version of FTP that automates many of the login steps necessary with FTP and adds its own special features. Right now it is an outdated and is surpassed in quality and features by LFTP.  Its main value in the ability to recursively upload directories (see Recursive uploading of directories via FTP), the task in which lftp is weak (mirror command in lftp is about mirroring, not so much about sending files recursively to other server).  Inthis case ncftpdput

When logging into a remote site, NcFTP automatically sends the username and password strings for anonymous access for you. This lets you log in and arrive at the NCFTP prompt ( ncftp> ) with a minimum of typing. If you plan to log in as yourself rather than using anonymous FTP, you can start NCFTP with the -u option to disable the automatic login process.

Most NCFTP commands are identical to the standard FTP commands. The same commands are used for moving files, changing directories, listing directory contents, and so on.

One nice feature of NCFTP is that it displays the current directory path on the remote site at each ncftp> prompt.

In addition, NCFTP remembers the last directory you accessed on a site; the next time you log into that site, you will be placed back at that directory automatically.

Name completion for remote hostnames is another feature of NCFTP. For example, if you've logged into the site before, the next time you need to access this site, you can just enter:

  ncftp jedi

NCFTP will then search its database looking for a complete site name that contains the string jedi. If it finds one, then it will go to that site and log you in.

To get a list of NCFTP commands, at the ncftp> prompt, enter a question mark ( ? ).

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[Mar 22, 2015] Linux - Unix ncftp Upload Directory Tree To Remote FTP Server Recursively

April 27, 2005 | nixCraft

by nixCraft on April 27, 2005 8 comments∑ LAST UPDATED October 28, 2012

When you host your web site remotely and and the ftp server is the only way to upload all files including subdirectroies. You need to use special file transfer program such as ncftpget or ncftpput for recursive remote ftp server uploading and downloading purpose. Ncftp is considered as an improved FTP client. Ncftp's improvements include support for command line editing, command histories, recursive gets/puts, automatic anonymous logins, and much more.

... ... ...

The syntax is as follows:

ncftpput ftp-host-name /path/to/remote/dir /path/to/local/dir
ncftpput -options ftp-host-name /path/to/remote/dir /path/to/local/dir

Try the ncftpput client command as follows:

ncftpput -R -v -u "username" /nixcraft/forum /tmp/phpbb


You can pass the password with -p option:

ncftpput -R -v -u "username" -p "passwordHere" /nixcraft/forum /tmp/phpbb

You can use port number 2021 instead of the default FTP service port # 21 as follows:

ncftpput -R -v -u "username" -p "passwordHere" -P 2021 /nixcraft/forum /tmp/phpbb
See also

[Mar 14, 2006] Upload directories recursively with NcFTP

I recently had to upload some content to a Web site, and the only access available was via FTP. I needed an FTP client capable of uploading a directory structure recursively. I found what I needed in an application called NcFTP.

I started by looking into Mozilla Firefox, but to my surprise, Firefox supports only FTP downloads, not uploads. Mozilla, on the other hand, does support uploads, but it can upload only one file at a time.

Next, I turned to command-line FTP clients. Again, the standard FTP command doesn't support recursive directory upload. Fortunately, many graphical and command-line FTP clients do, including NcFTP, yafc, and LFTP. I picked NcFTP.

After installing the software, connect to your host anonymously by entering the ncftp command followed by the hostname:


or if you need to log in with a valid username, use the -u and -p parameters:

ncftp -u username -p password

A successful connection puts you in an NcFTP shell. If you've used the standard FTP command before, you should feel right at home here. I'll presume you're familiar with basic FTP commands such as dir and cd. You can use the lls and the lcd commands to list and navigate the local working directory.

NcFTP supports autocompletion for both commands and filenames. For instance, you can type in the first few characters of a filename and then press Tab to fill in the rest of the name automatically.

Recall that my main goal was to upload a directory structure. Use the put -R command to do a recursive directory upload:

ncftp /path > put -R somedir

Standard FTP also supports a put command, but it's limited to uploading single files.

Similarly, you can download a directory recursively using the NcFTP get -R command:

ncftp /path > get -R somedir

More handy features

If you FTP to the same sites regularly, you can save time by using NcFTP's bookmark feature. Bookmarks store the connection information, including the username, the password, the hostname, and the target directory location.

To create a bookmark on a particular directory location, first navigate to that directory and then enter the bookmark command followed by a name to identify the bookmark. For example, type these commands to bookmark /path/somedir and name it topsecret:

ncftp /path > cd somedir
ncftp /path/somedir > bookmark topsecret

A bookmark editor lets you open, edit, delete, replicate, and add bookmarks. Invoke the editor by entering the bookmarks command with no parameters:

ncftp /path > bookmarks

Once you create a bookmark, you can connect to the corresponding host and directory quickly by using the bookmark name. Login is automatic because the bookmark stores the username and password.

For instance, you can connect using a bookmark named topsecret by entering this command in the Linux shell:

ncftp topsecret

Alternatively, you can open a connection while inside the NcFTP shell:

ncftp> open topsecret

Wrapping it up

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) was once a commonly used method for transferring files over the Internet, but recent security concerns have lessened its use in favor of the more secure SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or Secure Copy (SCP). Nevertheless, FTP may be the only access available to you on occasion.

NcFTP is loaded with useful features. I've touched on only the basics. If you ever require an FTP client more powerful than the standard FTP command, consider NcFTP.


Powerful command-line FTP client for UNIX. Includes NcFTPPut and NcFTPGet, which support FTP for shell scripts. Source code is available.

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