FW: FTP By Mail

Subject: FW: FTP By Mail
From: Richard Sobocinski <"Richard_G_Sobocinski%~WHC207"@CCMAIL.PNL.GOV>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 14:05:00 -0700

For all those folks that asked about FTP by Mail, here you
go. This works quite well, although it's not as immediate as
"real" ftp (it takes at least a full day, usually, to get
your file). This file is a few months old and I think that
there are more ftp-by-mail servers available now than what
are listed here. Sorry, but I can't remember what happens
with binary files (I haven't used this method for a while),
but I suspect that they would need to be UUDECODED.

There is also a similar scheme for accessing ARCHIE by mail,
and I'll try to dig that up for those of you that are

Rich (rxs459 -at- fep1 -dot- rl -dot- gov)

FTP by mail

If you can't ftp directly from your site (ask your local support staff first),
use an ftp-by-mail server. ftpmail servers are located at:

ftpmail -at- decwrl -dot- dec -dot- com ftpmail -at- src -dot- doc -dot- ic -dot- ac -dot- uk
ftpmail -at- cs -dot- uow -dot- edu -dot- au ftpmail -at- grasp1 -dot- univ-lyon1 -dot- fr

Send an e-mail message to the closest address, with the lines:

reply your_address -at- some -dot- where <- replace with your real email address
connect ftp.cc.umanitoba.ca
get rec-travel/00index

You can "get" any file in the archive this way. You can also include the
line "ls" to list the files in any directory and "cd" to change directory.
For complete instructions, send a one-line message reading "help" to the

Apparently, these servers will FTP any file from any site allowing anonymous
logins . . . ==> thus ccMail users could pull down files from anywhere . . .

I requested the 'help' file, and it looks like this . . .

-- Help --
>>> $Id: help-text,v 1.7 1993/05/05 00:49:43 vixie Exp $
>>> commands are:

reply <MAILADDR> set reply addr, since headers are usually wrong
connect [HOST [USER [PASS [ACCT]]]]
defaults to gatekeeper.dec.com, anonymous
ascii files grabbed are printable ascii
binary files grabbed are compressed or tar or both
chdir PLACE "get" and "ls" commands are relative to PLACE
(only one CHDIR per ftpmail session,
and it executes before any LS/DIR/GETs)
compress compress binaries using Lempel-Ziv encoding
compact compress binaries using Huffman encoding
uuencode binary files will be mailed in uuencode format
btoa binary files will be mailed in btoa format
chunksize SIZE split files into SIZE-byte chunks (def: 64000)
ls (or dir) PLACE short (long) directory listing
index THING search for THING in ftp server's index
get FILE get a file and have it mailed to you
(max 10 GET's per ftpmail session)
quit terminate script, ignore rest of mail message
(use if you have a .signature or
are a VMSMAIL user)

>>> notes:

-> you should send complaints to the ftpmail-admin address. our
postmaster does not handle ftpmail problems and you can save her
the trouble of forwarding your complaints by just mailing them to
the right address. the "ftpmail-request" address is gone; don't
use it.

-> the "index" command depends on the "SITE EXEC INDEX" feature of
some ftp servers. Gatekeeper.dec.com originated this feature,
and ftp.uu.net duplicated it (with a format change to the output,
naturally). Wuarchive.wustl.edu also has this feature, though
their index seems to be empty. The source for an ftpd that
supports this feature is on Gatekeeper.DEC.COM in /pub/DEC/gwtools.

-> a password of "" or '' will be sent as a null string. if you need
this you will know it, if you don't, you won't.

-> the "Subject:" of your request will be contained in the "Subject:"
of all of ftpmail's responses to you regarding that request. You
can therefore use it to "tag" different requests if you have more
than one outstanding at any given time.

-> you must give a "connect" command, default host is
gatekeeper.dec.com, default user is anonymous, default
password is your mail address with a hyphen prepended.

-> binary files will not be compressed unless 'compress' or 'compact'
command is given; use this if at all possible, it helps a lot.
note that many files are already compressed. if you use any of
the binary-file qualifiers (compress, compact, uuencode, btoa)
without setting 'binary' first, your session will abort in error.

-> binary files will always be formatted into printable ASCII
with "btoa" or "uuencode" (default is "btoa"). if you don't
use the "binary" command, ftpmail will cheerfully try to mail
you the binary data, which will absolutely, positively fail.

-> all retrieved files will be split into chunks and mailed. the
size of the chunk is 64000 characters unless you change it with
the "chunksize" command. CompuServe users will need to set this
to 49000. there is no way to set it higher than 100000, so please
don't ask.

-> if you ask for more than 10 files in a session, you will receive
an error message and your entire request will be rejected.

-> VMS/DOS/Mac versions of uudecode, atob, compress and compact
are available, ask your LOCAL wizard about them if you can't
locate them (but try gatekeeper.dec.com in /archive/pub/VMS
if you're still using a VMS system.)

-> several mail unsplitters are hiding on gatekeeper.dec.com in
/pub/mail/ua/misc/unsplit. there is one in c, one in perl,
and one in VMS DCL.

-> there is no way to request only certain parts of a file and we
do not plan to add one in the near future, so please don't ask.

-> there is no way to delete things from the queue or to find out
the status of things in the queue, and we do not plan to add
either feature in the near future, so please don't ask.

>>> examples:

-> connect to gatekeeper.dec.com and get a root directory listing:

-> connect to gatekeeper.dec.com and get the README.ftp file:
get README.ftp

-> connect to gatekeeper.dec.com and get the gnuemacs sources:
chdir /pub/GNU
get emacs-18.58.tar.Z

-> connect to ftp.uu.net as anonymous and get a root directory list:
connect ftp.uu.net
chdir /index/master
get by-name.Z

Ftpmail was written by Paul Vixie at the DEC Western Research Laboratory
and at the DEC Network Systems Laboratory, from 1989-1993.
-- End of Help --

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