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2.9 FTP Options


Specify the username user and password password on an FTP server. Without this, or the corresponding startup option, the password defaults to ‘-wget@’, normally used for anonymous FTP.

Another way to specify username and password is in the URL itself (see URL Format). Either method reveals your password to anyone who bothers to run ps. To prevent the passwords from being seen, store them in .wgetrc or .netrc, and make sure to protect those files from other users with chmod. If the passwords are really important, do not leave them lying in those files either—edit the files and delete them after Wget has started the download.


Don’t remove the temporary .listing files generated by FTP retrievals. Normally, these files contain the raw directory listings received from FTP servers. Not removing them can be useful for debugging purposes, or when you want to be able to easily check on the contents of remote server directories (e.g. to verify that a mirror you’re running is complete).

Note that even though Wget writes to a known filename for this file, this is not a security hole in the scenario of a user making .listing a symbolic link to /etc/passwd or something and asking root to run Wget in his or her directory. Depending on the options used, either Wget will refuse to write to .listing, making the globbing/recursion/time-stamping operation fail, or the symbolic link will be deleted and replaced with the actual .listing file, or the listing will be written to a .listing.number file.

Even though this situation isn’t a problem, though, root should never run Wget in a non-trusted user’s directory. A user could do something as simple as linking index.html to /etc/passwd and asking root to run Wget with ‘-N’ or ‘-r’ so the file will be overwritten.


Turn off FTP globbing. Globbing refers to the use of shell-like special characters (wildcards), like ‘*’, ‘?’, ‘[’ and ‘]’ to retrieve more than one file from the same directory at once, like:


By default, globbing will be turned on if the URL contains a globbing character. This option may be used to turn globbing on or off permanently.

You may have to quote the URL to protect it from being expanded by your shell. Globbing makes Wget look for a directory listing, which is system-specific. This is why it currently works only with Unix FTP servers (and the ones emulating Unix ls output).


Disable the use of the passive FTP transfer mode. Passive FTP mandates that the client connect to the server to establish the data connection rather than the other way around.

If the machine is connected to the Internet directly, both passive and active FTP should work equally well. Behind most firewall and NAT configurations passive FTP has a better chance of working. However, in some rare firewall configurations, active FTP actually works when passive FTP doesn’t. If you suspect this to be the case, use this option, or set passive_ftp=off in your init file.


Preserve remote file permissions instead of permissions set by umask.


By default, when retrieving FTP directories recursively and a symbolic link is encountered, the symbolic link is traversed and the pointed-to files are retrieved. Currently, Wget does not traverse symbolic links to directories to download them recursively, though this feature may be added in the future.

When ‘--retr-symlinks=no’ is specified, the linked-to file is not downloaded. Instead, a matching symbolic link is created on the local filesystem. The pointed-to file will not be retrieved unless this recursive retrieval would have encountered it separately and downloaded it anyway. This option poses a security risk where a malicious FTP Server may cause Wget to write to files outside of the intended directories through a specially crafted .LISTING file.

Note that when retrieving a file (not a directory) because it was specified on the command-line, rather than because it was recursed to, this option has no effect. Symbolic links are always traversed in this case.

2.10 FTPS Options


This option tells Wget to use FTPS implicitly. Implicit FTPS consists of initializing SSL/TLS from the very beginning of the control connection. This option does not send an AUTH TLS command: it assumes the server speaks FTPS and directly starts an SSL/TLS connection. If the attempt is successful, the session continues just like regular FTPS (PBSZ and PROT are sent, etc.). Implicit FTPS is no longer a requirement for FTPS implementations, and thus many servers may not support it. If ‘--ftps-implicit’ is passed and no explicit port number specified, the default port for implicit FTPS, 990, will be used, instead of the default port for the "normal" (explicit) FTPS which is the same as that of FTP, 21.


Do not resume the SSL/TLS session in the data channel. When starting a data connection, Wget tries to resume the SSL/TLS session previously started in the control connection. SSL/TLS session resumption avoids performing an entirely new handshake by reusing the SSL/TLS parameters of a previous session. Typically, the FTPS servers want it that way, so Wget does this by default. Under rare circumstances however, one might want to start an entirely new SSL/TLS session in every data connection. This is what ‘--no-ftps-resume-ssl’ is for.


All the data connections will be in plain text. Only the control connection will be under SSL/TLS. Wget will send a PROT C command to achieve this, which must be approved by the server.


Fall back to FTP if FTPS is not supported by the target server. For security reasons, this option is not asserted by default. The default behaviour is to exit with an error. If a server does not successfully reply to the initial AUTH TLS command, or in the case of implicit FTPS, if the initial SSL/TLS connection attempt is rejected, it is considered that such server does not support FTPS.

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