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Uploading and Downloading

File transfer becomes kind of tricky when you consider all of the different ways that folks can connect to this system, and whether they want to download the file to their home computer (connected by a modem to another Unix or VMS machine) or whether they want the files on their Unix or VMS machine.

If you are using a Mac or Windows machine and want to transfer files back and forth between your home computer and IO, please visit the Mac Fetch Help pages or the Windows WSFTP Help Pages.

If you call us directly

The commands 'sz' and 'rz' are used for Zmodem uploading and downloading. For instance, to download the file 'foo', do this:
pentagon:/usr/u/b/bar> sz foo
To download the files foo1, foo2 and foo3 you could do either of these:
pentagon:/usr/u/b/bar> sz foo*
pentagon:/usr/u/b/bar> sz foo1 foo2 foo3
Note: When 'sz' finishes, it refers to a file called 'sz.doc'. This document is actually a man page, and you can see it by typing 'man sz'.

If you are connected from Your PC to Some other machine to Us

Things get more complicated if you want to download to your PC directly across a telnet or rlogin link. You must initiate a rlogin or telnet session without escapes. There are several ways to do this.
Here are the two that work on many Unix systems:
your_home_system_prompt> rlogin -8
your_home_system_prompt> telnet -e ""
Also note that if you are using a "terminal server" (popular at many universities) there is frequently a command: terminal download that will prevent the terminal server from interfering in your connection. It's important if you're using a terminal server, or connecting through more than one machine, that ALL LINKS are set up without escapes. Also, do not use the popular multiplexing software 'screen', it will eat some control characters.

The root of this problem is that the Z-modem protocol, as well as binary files, contain special characters that can get intercepted as special characters by telnet, rlogin, screen, and terminal servers.

If you want the files on another machine on the net

To get files from here to another Unix machine or a VMS machine, you can use File Transfer Protocol (ftp). Basically, you can log in as 'ftp' or 'anonymous', give your e-mail address as password, and grab the files you want.

If you have an account with us (your username is 'bar', let's say) you can do (from your Unix machine):

your_home_system_prompt> ftp
Name ( bar
331 Password required for bar.
Once at the ftp prompt, many Unix commands (such as ls and cd) will work, but you are NOT in a Unix shell. You can, however, use the wonderful commands get and mget. But first, type binary if you think you will be downloading any binary files.

To get a file called foo, do this: ftp$gt; get foo To get more than one file, all of which start with "foo," do this: ftp$gt; prompt ftp$gt; mget foo* Help is available on all ftp commands by typing: 'help' at the ftp prompt, or by typing: 'man ftp' at the Unix prompt.

Note that a very, very common mistake when using ftp is to not be in binary mode when downloading binaries. New ftp software now sometimes defaults to binary (default used to always be text) which, while preventing some mistakes, has confused the situation even more. It is better to always type 'binary' as your first command.

You can read more about ftp in the EFF's Guide to the Internet.

Last revised August 29, 2000