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zshzftpsys(1)                                                    zshzftpsys(1)


       zshzftpsys - zftp function front-end


       This describes the set of shell functions supplied with the source dis-
       tribution as an interface to the zftp builtin command, allowing you  to
       perform  FTP operations from the shell command line or within functions
       or scripts.  The interface is similar to a traditional FTP client (e.g.
       the  ftp command itself, see ftp(1)), but as it is entirely done within
       the shell all the familiar completion, editing and  globbing  features,
       and  so on, are present, and macros are particularly simple to write as
       they are just ordinary shell functions.

       The prerequisite is that the zftp  command,  as  described  in  zshmod-
       ules(1)  ,  must  be  available in the version of zsh installed at your
       site.  If the shell is configured to load new commands at run time,  it
       probably  is:  typing  `zmodload zsh/zftp' will make sure (if that runs
       silently, it has worked).  If this is not the case, it is possible zftp
       was  linked  into the shell anyway: to test this, type `which zftp' and
       if zftp is available you will get the  message  `zftp:  shell  built-in

       Commands  given  directly with zftp builtin may be interspersed between
       the functions in this suite; in a few cases, using  zftp  directly  may
       cause  some  of  the  status  information stored in shell parameters to
       become invalid.  Note in particular the description  of  the  variables
       $ZFTP_TMOUT, $ZFTP_PREFS and $ZFTP_VERBOSE for zftp.


       You  should  make sure all the functions from the Functions/Zftp direc-
       tory of the source distribution are available; they all begin with  the
       two letters `zf'.  They may already have been installed on your system;
       otherwise, you will need to find them and  copy  them.   The  directory
       should  appear  as one of the elements of the $fpath array (this should
       already be the case if they were installed), and at least the  function
       zfinit  should  be  autoloaded; it will autoload the rest.  Finally, to
       initialize the use of the system you need to call the zfinit  function.
       The  following  code  in  your .zshrc will arrange for this; assume the
       functions are stored in the directory ~/myfns:

              fpath=(~/myfns $fpath)
              autoload -U zfinit

       Note that zfinit assumes you are using the zmodload method to load  the
       zftp  command.  If it is already built into the shell, change zfinit to
       zfinit -n.  It is helpful (though not essential) if the call to  zfinit
       appears  after  any  code to initialize the new completion system, else
       unnecessary compctl commands will be given.


       The sequence of operations in performing a file transfer is essentially
       the  same  as that in a standard FTP client.  Note that, due to a quirk
       of the shell's getopts builtin, for those functions that handle options
       you must use `--' rather than `-' to ensure the remaining arguments are
       treated literally (a single `-' is treated as an argument).

   Opening a connection
       zfparams [ host [ user [ password ... ] ] ]
              Set or show the parameters for a future  zfopen  with  no  argu-
              ments.   If  no  arguments are given, the current parameters are
              displayed (the password will be shown as a line  of  asterisks).
              If a host is given, and either the user or password is not, they
              will be prompted for; also, any parameter given as `?'  will  be
              prompted  for, and if the `?' is followed by a string, that will
              be used as the prompt.  As zfopen calls zfparams  to  store  the
              parameters, this usually need not be called directly.

              A  single  argument `-' will delete the stored parameters.  This
              will also cause the memory of the last directory (and so on)  on
              the other host to be deleted.

       zfopen [ -1 ] [ host [ user [ password [ account ] ] ] ]
              If  host  is present, open a connection to that host under user-
              name user with password password (and,  on  the  rare  occasions
              when  it is necessary, account account).  If a necessary parame-
              ter is missing or given as `?' it will be prompted for.  If host
              is not present, use a previously stored set of parameters.

              If  the  command  was successful, and the terminal is compatible
              with xterm or is sun-cmd, a summary will  appear  in  the  title
              bar,  giving the local host:directory and the remote host:direc-
              tory; this is handled  by  the  function  zftp_chpwd,  described

              Normally,  the  host,  user and password are internally recorded
              for later re-opening, either by a zfopen with no  arguments,  or
              automatically (see below).  With the option `-1', no information
              is stored.  Also, if an open command with arguments failed,  the
              parameters  will  not  be  retained (and any previous parameters
              will also be deleted).  A zfopen on its own,  or  a  zfopen  -1,
              never alters the stored parameters.

              Both zfopen and zfanon (but not zfparams) understand URLs of the
              form ftp://host/path... as meaning to connect to the host,  then
              change  directory  to  path  (which  must  be a directory, not a
              file).  The `ftp://' can be omitted; the trailing `/' is  enough
              to  trigger  recognition  of the path.  Note prefixes other than
              `ftp:' are not recognized, and that  all  characters  after  the
              first slash beyond host are significant in path.

       zfanon [ -1 ] host
              Open  a connection host for anonymous FTP.  The username used is
              `anonymous'.  The password (which will  be  reported  the  first
              time)  is  generated  as  user@host;  this is then stored in the
              shell parameter $EMAIL_ADDR which can alternatively be set manu-
              ally to a suitable string.

   Directory management
       zfcd [ dir ]
       zfcd -
       zfcd old new
              Change  the  current  directory  on  the remote server:  this is
              implemented to have many of the features of  the  shell  builtin

              In the first form with dir present, change to the directory dir.
              The command `zfcd ..' is treated specially, so is guaranteed  to
              work  on  non-UNIX  servers  (note this is handled internally by
              zftp).  If dir is omitted, has the effect of `zfcd ~'.

              The second form changes to the directory previously current.

              The third form attempts  to  change  the  current  directory  by
              replacing the first occurrence of the string old with the string
              new in the current directory.

              Note that in this command, and indeed anywhere a remote filename
              is  expected,  the string which on the local host corresponds to
              `~' is converted back to a `~' before being passed to the remote
              machine.   This  is  convenient  because of the way expansion is
              performed on the command line before  zfcd  receives  a  string.
              For  example,  suppose  the  command is `zfcd ~/foo'.  The shell
              will   expand   this   to   a   full   path   such   as    `zfcd
              /home/user2/pws/foo'.   At  this stage, zfcd recognises the ini-
              tial path as corresponding to `~' and will send the directory to
              the  remote  host  as ~/foo, so that the `~' will be expanded by
              the server to the correct remote host  directory.   Other  named
              directories of the form `~name' are not treated in this fashion.

       zfhere Change directory on the remote server to the  one  corresponding
              to  the current local directory, with special handling of `~' as
              in zfcd.   For  example,  if  the  current  local  directory  is
              ~/foo/bar,  then zfhere performs the effect of `zfcd ~/foo/bar'.

       zfdir [ -rfd ] [ - ] [ dir-options ] [ dir ]
              Produce a long directory listing.  The arguments dir-options and
              dir are passed directly to the server and their effect is imple-
              mentation dependent, but specifying a particular  remote  direc-
              tory  dir  is  usually possible.  The output is passed through a
              pager given by the environment variable  $PAGER,  or  `more'  if
              that is not set.

              The directory is usually cached for re-use.  In fact, two caches
              are maintained.  One is for use when there is no dir-options  or
              dir,  i.e. a full listing of the current remote directory; it is
              flushed when the current remote directory changes.  The other is
              kept  for  repeated  use  of  zfdir with the same arguments; for
              example, repeated use of `zfdir /pub/gnu' will only require  the
              directory  to  be  retrieved  on the first call.  Alternatively,
              this cache can be re-viewed with the  -r  option.   As  relative
              directories  will  confuse  zfdir,  the -f option can be used to
              force the cache to be flushed before the  directory  is  listed.
              The  option  -d will delete both caches without showing a direc-
              tory listing; it will also delete the cache of file names in the
              current remote directory, if any.

       zfls [ ls-options ] [ dir ]
              List  files  on the remote server.  With no arguments, this will
              produce a simple list of  file  names  for  the  current  remote
              directory.  Any arguments are passed directly to the server.  No
              pager and no caching is used.

   Status commands
       zftype [ type ]
              With no arguments, show the type of data to be transferred, usu-
              ally  ASCII  or  binary.  With an argument, change the type: the
              types `A' or `ASCII' for ASCII data and `B' or `BINARY', `I'  or
              `IMAGE' for binary data are understood case-insensitively.

       zfstat [ -v ]
              Show  the  status  of the current or last connection, as well as
              the status of some of zftp's  status  variables.   With  the  -v
              option,  a  more  verbose  listing  is  produced by querying the
              server for its version of events, too.

   Retrieving files
       The commands for retrieving files all take at  least  two  options.  -G
       suppresses remote filename expansion which would otherwise be performed
       (see below for a more detailed description of that).   -t  attempts  to
       set the modification time of the local file to that of the remote file:
       see the description of the function zfrtime below for more information.

       zfget [ -Gtc ] file1 ...
              Retrieve  all  the listed files file1 ... one at a time from the
              remote server.  If a file contains  a  `/',  the  full  name  is
              passed  to  the  remote  server,  but the file is stored locally
              under the name given by the  part  after  the  final  `/'.   The
              option  -c  (cat) forces all files to be sent as a single stream
              to standard output; in this case the -t option has no effect.

       zfuget [ -Gvst ] file1 ...
              As zfget, but only retrieve  files  where  the  version  on  the
              remote server is newer (has a later modification time), or where
              the local file does not exist.  If the remote file is older  but
              the files have different sizes, or if the sizes are the same but
              the remote file is newer, the  user  will  usually  be  queried.
              With  the  option  -s, the command runs silently and will always
              retrieve the file in either of those two cases.  With the option
              -v, the command prints more information about the files while it
              is working out whether or not to transfer them.

       zfcget [ -Gt ] file1 ...
              As zfget, but if any of the local files exists, and  is  shorter
              than  the corresponding remote file, the command assumes that it
              is the result of a partially completed transfer and attempts  to
              transfer the rest of the file.  This is useful on a poor connec-
              tion which keeps failing.

              Note that this requires a commonly  implemented,  but  non-stan-
              dard,  version of the FTP protocol, so is not guaranteed to work
              on all servers.

       zfgcp [ -Gt ] remote-file local-file
       zfgcp [ -Gt ] rfile1 ... ldir
              This retrieves files  from  the  remote  server  with  arguments
              behaving similarly to the cp command.

              In the first form, copy remote-file from the server to the local
              file local-file.

              In the second form, copy all the remote files  rfile1  ...  into
              the  local  directory  ldir  retaining the same basenames.  This
              assumes UNIX directory semantics.

   Sending files
       zfput [ -r ] file1 ...
              Send all the file1 ... given separately to  the  remote  server.
              If  a filename contains a `/', the full filename is used locally
              to find the file, but only the basename is used for  the  remote
              file name.

              With the option -r, if any of the files are directories they are
              sent recursively with all their subdirectories, including  files
              beginning  with  `.'.   This  requires  that  the remote machine
              understand UNIX file semantics, since `/' is used as a directory

       zfuput [ -vs ] file1 ...
              As  zfput,  but only send files which are newer than their local
              equivalents, or if the remote file does not exist.  The logic is
              the  same  as  for zfuget, but reversed between local and remote

       zfcput file1 ...
              As zfput, but if any remote file already exists and  is  shorter
              than  the local equivalent, assume it is the result of an incom-
              plete transfer and send the rest of the file to  append  to  the
              existing  part.   As the FTP append command is part of the stan-
              dard set, this is in principle more likely to work than  zfcget.

       zfpcp local-file remote-file
       zfpcp lfile1 ... rdir
              This  sends  files  to the remote server with arguments behaving
              similarly to the cp command.

              With  two  arguments,  copy  local-file   to   the   server   as

              With  more  than  two arguments, copy all the local files lfile1
              ... into the existing remote directory rdir retaining  the  same
              basenames.  This assumes UNIX directory semantics.

              A  problem  arises if you attempt to use zfpcp lfile1 rdir, i.e.
              the second form of copying but with two arguments, as  the  com-
              mand  has  no  simple  way  of  knowing if rdir corresponds to a
              directory or a filename.  It attempts to resolve this in various
              ways.   First,  if the rdir argument is `.' or `..' or ends in a
              slash, it is assumed to be a directory.  Secondly, if the opera-
              tion  of  copying to a remote file in the first form failed, and
              the remote server sends back the expected failure code 553 and a
              reply  including  the  string  `Is a directory', then zfpcp will
              retry using the second form.

   Closing the connection
              Close the connection.

   Session management
       zfsession [ -lvod ] [ sessname ]
              Allows you to manage multiple FTP sessions at once.  By default,
              connections  take place in a session called `default'; by giving
              the command `zfsession sessname' you can  change  to  a  new  or
              existing  session  with  a name of your choice.  The new session
              remembers its own connection, as well as associated shell param-
              eters, and also the host/user parameters set by zfparams.  Hence
              you can have different sessions set up to connect  to  different
              hosts, each remembering the appropriate host, user and password.

              With no arguments, zfsession prints the name of the current ses-
              sion;  with  the option -l it lists all sessions which currently
              exist, and with the option -v it gives a  verbose  list  showing
              the  host and directory for each session, where the current ses-
              sion is marked with an asterisk.  With -o, it will switch to the
              most recent previous session.

              With -d, the given session (or else the current one) is removed;
              everything to do with it is completely forgotten.  If it was the
              only session, a new session called `default' is created and made
              current.  It is safest not to delete sessions  while  background
              commands using zftp are active.

       zftransfer sess1:file1 sess2:file2
              Transfer files between two sessions; no local copy is made.  The
              file is read from the session sess1 as file1 and written to ses-
              sion sess2 as file file2; file1 and file2 may be relative to the
              current directories of the session.  Either sess1 or  sess2  may
              be  omitted  (though  the colon should be retained if there is a
              possibility of a colon appearing in the file name) and  defaults
              to  the  current session; file2 may be omitted or may end with a
              slash, in which case the basename of file1 will be  added.   The
              sessions sess1 and sess2 must be distinct.

              The  operation  is performed using pipes, so it is required that
              the connections still be valid in a subshell, which is  not  the
              case under versions of some operating systems, presumably due to
              a system bug.

       The two functions zfmark and zfgoto allow you to `bookmark' the present
       location  (host,  user and directory) of the current FTP connection for
       later use.  The file to be used for storing and retrieving bookmarks is
       given  by  the  parameter  $ZFTP_BMFILE; if not set when one of the two
       functions is called, it will be set  to  the  file  .zfbkmarks  in  the
       directory where your zsh startup files live (usually ~).

       zfmark [ bookmark ]
              If  given an argument, mark the current host, user and directory
              under the name bookmark for later use by zfgoto.  If there is no
              connection  open, use the values for the last connection immedi-
              ately before it was closed; it is an error if  there  was  none.
              Any  existing  bookmark  under  the  same  name will be silently

              If not given an argument, list the existing  bookmarks  and  the
              points to which they refer in the form user@host:directory; this
              is the format in which they are stored,  and  the  file  may  be
              edited directly.

       zfgoto [ -n ] bookmark
              Return  to  the location given by bookmark, as previously set by
              zfmark.  If the location has user `ftp' or `anonymous', open the
              connection with zfanon, so that no password is required.  If the
              user and host parameters match those stored for the current ses-
              sion,  if  any,  those  will  be  used, and again no password is
              required.  Otherwise a password will be prompted for.

              With the option -n, the bookmark  is  taken  to  be  a  nickname
              stored  by  the  ncftp  program  in  its bookmark file, which is
              assumed to be ~/.ncftp/bookmarks.  The  function  works  identi-
              cally in other ways.  Note that there is no mechanism for adding
              or modifying ncftp bookmarks from the zftp functions.

   Other functions
       Mostly, these  functions  will  not  be  called  directly  (apart  from
       zfinit),  but  are  described  here  for completeness.  You may wish to
       alter zftp_chpwd and zftp_progress, in particular.

       zfinit [ -n ]
              As described above, this is used to initialize the zftp function
              system.   The  -n  option  should be used if the zftp command is
              already built into the shell.

       zfautocheck [ -dn ]
              This function is called to implement automatic reopening  behav-
              iour,  as  described  in  more  detail  below.  The options must
              appear in the first  argument;  -n  prevents  the  command  from
              changing to the old directory, while -d prevents it from setting
              the variable do_close, which it otherwise does  as  a  flag  for
              automatically closing the connection after a transfer.  The host
              and directory for the last session are stored  in  the  variable
              $zflastsession,  but  the internal host/user/password parameters
              must also be correctly set.

       zfcd_match prefix suffix
              This performs matching for completion of remote directory names.
              If  the  remote  server is UNIX, it will attempt to persuade the
              server to list the remote directory with subdirectories  marked,
              which  usually  works  but is not guaranteed.  On other hosts it
              simply calls zfget_match and hence completes all files, not just
              directories.   On  some  systems,  directories may not even look
              like filenames.

       zfget_match prefix suffix
              This performs matching for completion of remote  filenames.   It
              caches  files  for  the  current  directory  (only) in the shell
              parameter $zftp_fcache.  It is in the form to be called  by  the
              -K  option  of  compctl,  but also works when called from a wid-
              get-style completion function with prefix and suffix set  appro-

       zfrglob varname
              Perform  remote  globbing,  as  describes  in more detail below.
              varname is the name of a variable containing the pattern  to  be
              expanded;  if  there were any matches, the same variable will be
              set to the expanded set of filenames on return.

       zfrtime lfile rfile [ time ]
              Set the local file lfile to have the same modification  time  as
              the  remote  file rfile, or the explicit time time in FTP format
              CCYYMMDDhhmmSS for the GMT  timezone.   This  uses  the  shell's
              zsh/datetime  module to perform the conversion from GMT to local

              This function is called every time a connection  is  opened,  or
              closed,  or  the  remote directory changes.  This version alters
              the title bar of an xterm-compatible or sun-cmd terminal  emula-
              tor to reflect the local and remote hostnames and current direc-
              tories.  It works best when combined with  the  function  chpwd.
              In particular, a function of the form

                     chpwd() {
                       if [[ -n $ZFTP_USER ]]; then
                         # usual chpwd e.g put host:directory in title bar

              fits in well.

              This  function  shows  the  status of the transfer.  It will not
              write anything unless the output is going to  a  terminal;  how-
              ever,  if  you transfer files in the background, you should turn
              off progress reports by hand using  `zstyle  ':zftp:*'  progress
              none'.   Note  also  that if you alter it, any output must be to
              standard error, as standard output may be a file being received.
              The  form  of  the progress meter, or whether it is used at all,
              can be configured without altering the function, as described in
              the next section.

              This is used to implement caching of files in the current direc-
              tory for each session separately.  It is used by zfget_match and


       Various  styles are available using the standard shell style mechanism,
       described in zshmodules(1).  Briefly,  the  command  `zstyle  ':zftp:*'
       style value ...'.  defines the style to have value value; more than one
       value may be given, although that is not useful in the cases  described
       here.  These values will then be used throughout the zftp function sys-
       tem.  For more precise control, the first argument, which gives a  con-
       text  in which the style applies, can be modified to include a particu-
       lar function, as for example `:zftp:zfget': the style  will  then  have
       the  given value only in the zfget function.  Values for the same style
       in different contexts may be set; the most specific  function  will  be
       used,  where  strings  are  held to be more specific than patterns, and
       longer patterns and shorter patterns.  Note that  only  the  top  level
       function  name,  as called by the user, is used; calling of lower level
       functions is transparent to the user.  Hence modifications to the title
       bar  in  zftp_chpwd  use  the  contexts :zftp:zfopen, :zftp:zfcd, etc.,
       depending where it was called from.  The following  styles  are  under-

              Controls the way that zftp_progress reports on the progress of a
              transfer.  If empty, unset, or `none',  no  progress  report  is
              made; if `bar' a growing bar of inverse video is shown; if `per-
              cent' (or any other string, though this may change  in  future),
              the  percentage of the file transferred is shown.  The bar meter
              requires that the width of the terminal  be  available  via  the
              $COLUMNS parameter (normally this is set automatically).  If the
              size of the file being transferred is  not  available,  bar  and
              percent  meters will simply show the number of bytes transferred
              so far.

              When zfinit is run, if this style is not defined for the context
              :zftp:*, it will be set to `bar'.

       update Specifies  the  minimum  time  interval  between  updates of the
              progress meter in seconds.  No update is made  unless  new  data
              has  been  received, so the actual time interval is limited only
              by $ZFTP_TIMEOUT.

              As described for progress, zfinit will force this to default  to

              If  set  to `1', `yes' or `true', filename generation (globbing)
              is performed on the remote machine instead of by zsh itself; see

              If  set  to `1', `yes' or `true', zftp_chpwd will put the remote
              host and remote directory into the titlebar of  terminal  emula-
              tors such as xterm or sun-cmd that allow this.

              As  described for progress, zfinit will force this to default to

       chpwd  If set to `1' `yes' or `true', zftp_chpwd will call the function
              chpwd when a connection is closed.  This is useful if the remote
              host details were put into the terminal title bar by  zftp_chpwd
              and your usual chpwd also modifies the title bar.

              When  zfinit  is run, it will determine whether chpwd exists and
              if so it will set the default value for the style to 1  if  none
              exists already.

       Note  that  there  is also an associative array zfconfig which contains
       values used by the function system.  This should  not  be  modified  or

   Remote globbing
       The  commands  for retrieving files usually perform filename generation
       (globbing) on their arguments; this can be turned off  by  passing  the
       option  -G to each of the commands.  Normally this operates by retriev-
       ing a complete list of files for the directory in question, then match-
       ing these locally against the pattern supplied.  This has the advantage
       that the full range of zsh patterns  (respecting  the  setting  of  the
       option  EXTENDED_GLOB)  can be used.  However, it means that the direc-
       tory part of a filename will not be expanded and must be given exactly.
       If  the  remote  server  does not support the UNIX directory semantics,
       directory handling is problematic and it is recommended  that  globbing
       only  be  used  within the current directory.  The list of files in the
       current directory, if retrieved, will be  cached,  so  that  subsequent
       globs  in  the  same  directory  without  an  intervening zfcd are much

       If the remote-glob style (see above) is set, globbing is  instead  per-
       formed  on  the remote host: the server is asked for a list of matching
       files.  This is highly dependent on  how  the  server  is  implemented,
       though  typically UNIX servers will provide support for basic glob pat-
       terns.  This may in some cases be faster, as it avoids  retrieving  the
       entire list of directory contents.

   Automatic and temporary reopening
       As described for the zfopen command, a subsequent zfopen with no param-
       eters will reopen the connection to the last host (this  includes  con-
       nections  made  with  the zfanon command).  Opened in this fashion, the
       connection starts in the default remote directory and will remain  open
       until explicitly closed.

       Automatic  re-opening  is  also available.  If a connection is not cur-
       rently open and a command requiring a connection  is  given,  the  last
       connection  is  implicitly  reopened.  In this case the directory which
       was current when the connection was closed again  becomes  the  current
       directory (unless, of course, the command given changes it).  Automatic
       reopening will also take place if  the  connection  was  close  by  the
       remote  server  for whatever reason (e.g. a timeout).  It is not avail-
       able if the -1 option to zfopen or zfanon was used.

       Furthermore, if the command issued is a file transfer,  the  connection
       will  be  closed  after  the  transfer  is  finished, hence providing a
       one-shot mode for transfers.  This does not apply to directory changing
       or  listing  commands;  for example a zfdir may reopen a connection but
       will leave it open.  Also, automatic closure will only ever  happen  in
       the same command as automatic opening, i.e a zfdir directly followed by
       a zfget will never close the connection automatically.

       Information about the previous connection is given by the zfstat  func-
       tion.  So, for example, if that reports:

              Session:        default
              Not connected.
              Last session:

       then  the command zfget file.txt will attempt to reopen a connection to, retrieve the file /pub/textfiles/file.txt, and immediately
       close  the connection again.  On the other hand, zfcd ..  will open the
       connection in the directory /pub and leave it open.

       Note that all the above is local to each session; if you  return  to  a
       previous session, the connection for that session is the one which will
       be reopened.

       Completion of local and remote files, directories, sessions  and  book-
       marks  is  supported.   The  older, compctl-style completion is defined
       when zfinit is called; support for the new widget-based completion sys-
       tem  is  provided  in  the function Completion/Zsh/Command/_zftp, which
       should be installed with the other functions of the  completion  system
       and hence should automatically be available.

zsh 4.3.11                     December 20, 2010                 zshzftpsys(1)

Mac OS X 10.7 - Generated Thu Aug 11 05:38:45 CDT 2011
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