[AIT logo]

Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

Abteilung Astronomie

Sand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
[Uni logo]

Hinweis: Einige Seiten auf astro.uni-tuebingen.de können veraltet sein und werden nicht mehr aktualisiert.
Note: Some webpages at astro.uni-tuebingen.de may be outdated and will no longer be updated.

Setting up FTP clients for FTP

The standard FTP programs running on Unix machines are not able to access the IAAT anonymous FTP account. They also can not be used to access outside FTP servers. Currently the following FTP clients are known to work with passive mode FTP. If you use or know of other clients, please let me know.

In case you came from somewhere else, we do have an explanation why passive mode is needed to access the anonymous FTP account of IAAT, Astronomie. We also have a explanation of firewalls and why we cannot allow standard FTP.

netscape and other Web browsers

netscape and other Web browsers use passive mode FTP by default. No modifications are necessary.


ncftp is a semi-graphical FTP browser installed on all Unix machines at IAAT. In order to switch passive mode on in ncftp, type
and then change the Default FTP mode to Passive FTP Only (PASV).

Caveat: ncftp has one stupid feature, though, in that it remembers whether a host can do passive mode or not. If you tried to FTP to astro.uni-tuebingen.de or somewhere else before switching to PASV mode, ncftp will think that these machines only understand the PORT mode. You'll therefore have to manually switch the portmode off for these machines. For that, type

move the cursor,e.g., onto the astro.uni-tuebingen.de entry, and type
Now change the entry can use passive FTP to YES, leave the entry for astro with X, leave the bookmarks editor with x, and leave ncftp. The next time you should be able to log onto astro.uni-tuebingen.de and do a
If you see the directories, everything is fine.


wget is GNU software to mirror WWW pages and FTP hierarchies. It is installed on all IAAT Unix machines. wget uses PASV mode by default.


Mirror is a package written in Perl that uses the ftp protocol to duplicate a directory hierarchy between the machine it is run on and a remote host. It avoids copying files unnecessarily by comparing the file timestamps and sizes before transfering. Amongst other things can optionally compress, gzip, and split files (from the mirror README). It was written for use by archive maintainers but can be used by anyone wanting to transfer a lot of files over ftp. At IAAT we use it for mirroring RXTE data, use for general purposes is not advised, please use wget instead. To turn on passive mode for mirror, set passive_ftp=1 in the defaults package in the file mirror.defaults.

FTP Explorer

FTP Explorer is an FTP client for Windows NT programs. The program is free of charge for students and universities. PASV mode can be turned on by clicking on USE PASV Mode when starting a connection.

[Home Page] [Software, Documentation] [Quick Reference] [Feedback]

Jörn Wilms | Impressum
Last modified 2001 Apr 23