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Use the Finder's FTP integration to search FTP sites Desktop
Try this: connect to a FTP server by selecting Go -> Connect to server. Then enter, as a test:
Hit return to connect, and Apple's FTP server will mount on your desktop. Next, type Command-F and specify that you search only on the mounted FTP server from Apple. Try a search for "update" and it will remotely search for any file names with "update" in their title. Very nice...

[Editor's note: Sometimes it's the simplest hints that make your day! This would be one of those. I'd never thought to use Find on a mounted FTP volume ... very cool!]
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Use the Finder's FTP integration to search FTP sites | 29 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Authored by: Diggory on Oct 25, '02 11:00:34AM

Great hint.

Shouldn\'t that URL be:

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Only problem is
Authored by: sjonke on Oct 25, '02 11:05:14AM

when mounting an FTP server causes 10.2.x to go ****KAAAAABOOOOOOMMMM****. WHich is every time, at least for me.

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No problems here
Authored by: gvitale on Oct 25, '02 11:16:31AM

I have no problems (iBook, 10.2.1, LAN DHCP).

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Passive mode ftp can cure ftp in finder problems
Authored by: mclbruce on Oct 25, '02 11:46:40AM

The traditional solution to ftp problems is:

System Preferences: Network: Proxies: check "use passive mode"

This may cure problems you are having using ftp in the finder in 10.2.1. If you are using 10.2.0, which first introduced mounting ftp servers in the finder, passive mode probably won't fix the problem.

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No Joy
Authored by: springstdigital on Oct 26, '02 03:29:24PM

I'm using 10.2.1 and I've NEVER gotten this to work. System hangs indefinitely upon trying. Sounds like it would be very useful if it would work...

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Then you're one of the lucky ones!
Authored by: mm2270 on Oct 25, '02 11:42:34AM

Because I only managed to get 10.2 to mount an FTP server ONCE, then every time after, I get the same hard crash that many other users get. Look around on some forums and you'll see what I'm talking about. (I believe there's even some talk about it right here on MacOSXHints) FTP'ing thru the Jaguar Finder is unreliable as it is now.
I have heard that the 10.2.2 update coming soon addresses some of those issues. Let's hope...

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10.2 vs. 10.2.1
Authored by: robg on Oct 25, '02 01:59:41PM

For me, all problems stopped with 10.2.1; 10.2 was unusable for Finder FTP ... maybe 10.2.2 will help everyone...


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Yes, but
Authored by: joestalin on Oct 25, '02 01:54:17PM

This is cool. Could someone remind me what the syntax is for logging in with a particular username/password?

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Authored by: cmdawson on Oct 25, '02 02:25:22PM

Haven't tried it on OS X but I bet it works!


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chokes on some passwords?
Authored by: awk on Oct 25, '02 03:51:49PM

On that note, has anyone had problems with non-alphanum chars in their FTP passwords? I have "%" in one password, and the Finder refuses to connect. This happens if I use the "" or just "" and enter the password in the dialog box.

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Authored by: marook on Jan 20, '03 08:43:14PM

Just too sorry that the Finder will ONLY let you in in guest mode, ie. No write access!

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Authored by: tomem on Oct 25, '02 03:12:23PM

I don't understand why this should be a surprising feature. We expected this behavior with Appleshare. Why wouldn't it be the case for FTP with a Unix-based Mac OS?

The amazing thing is that it still doesn't work well for downloads, never mind uploads and file management. One can hope that ultimately we will use FTP or SFTP for all file sharing.

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Authored by: aranor on Oct 26, '02 02:51:29PM

One should hope that we DON'T ultimately go to FTP and SFTP for everything. An ftp server is actually pretty inefficient. Although I haven't had good experiences with it, something like WebDAV is MUCH better. FTP is useful, but the server just isn't very efficient.

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can't edit...
Authored by: davidnorton on Oct 25, '02 03:30:17PM

I can't edit any files, or put new ones on. It says the disk is locked. :-/ I am entering the right username and password...

It says "ftp.(domain).com can't be modified". In BBEdit, it says the file is owned by root... anybody else having this problem? It might be my server...

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Read only
Authored by: robg on Oct 25, '02 05:37:35PM

At this point, FTP access in the Finder is read-only. Good for downloading, bad for uploading ;-).


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Read only
Authored by: davidnorton on Oct 26, '02 09:09:05AM

heh, okay, thanks. Hopefully after Apple fixes the bugs (I can still get Finder FTP to freeze up the iMac for me if I fiddle around with it long enough. I have 10.2.1), they will implement editing. The whole point of FTP for me is editing files, especially with BBEdit. I guess it's different for other people, though.

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can't edit...
Authored by: BobMayo on Oct 26, '02 08:50:35AM

I'm having exactly the same problem. Anyone have step-by-step suggestions on how to delete and add files via finder-drag-and-drop using ftp? This would be *so* great; I had just downloaded a trial copy of Fetch for this purpose.
An observation: I've already made an alias of the ftp server which appeared on my desktop before ejecting the original. Now my web site server is just a double-click away, though it still asks for me to enter my password before it opens.

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doesn't work for me
Authored by: apaterso on Oct 25, '02 03:39:42PM

I am using 10.1.5 and trying to ftp to from Go -> Connect to Server yeilds an error box to the effect that file servers are available...

Passive mode is set and I have no problem using IE to ftp to apple, so i my case this hint won't hunt.


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doesn't work for me
Authored by: Cerberus on Oct 25, '02 05:08:01PM

True: 10.1.x does not support this feature. It is for Jaguar users only.

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Authored by: joestalin on Oct 25, '02 06:21:26PM

I did get to mount, no problem. Dismounting was a problem--I couldn't drag the icon to the trash, as it reported items in use (none were, AFAIK). Logging out didn't help. I had to reboot.

I tried using this to access my account at my web host using the user:password@ftp trick that someone else helpfully provided. This didn't let my into my home directory, and I suspect it's because my username on my Mac is different from the one at my web host.

Finally, I have non-alphanumerics in my pw, and it worked OK.

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Authored by: darcybrown on Oct 26, '02 09:06:12PM
Although I am not sure how MacOSX implements adding the username and password to the URL, I assume that it is using the same standard way as it is in browsers.
Including a password that is meant to be secret in the URL is way unsecure. In fact, there is nothing secure about it, it is clear text.
here is more info (RFC 2396)
Logging in to you web host with this method is probably not the best thing to do.

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Authored by: sitharus on Oct 26, '02 11:55:09PM

FTP is by its nature insecure, as the passwords are sent in plain text. Of course, if the finder saves the URL in the box then you have a problem, but iirc if you just put a username it asks for a password.

If you want to be secure you have to use secure copy (scp)

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Authored by: macubergeek on Oct 27, '02 08:17:28AM

Actually froze up Aqua requiring a hard reboot....Don't do this. I'm using 10.2.1 on a new iMac....This is a bug in Jaguar.

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Too Immature a Feature To Document
Authored by: dankogai on Oct 27, '02 10:20:37AM

Here are my research results what happens when you attempt to "mount" ftp:// URIs; Under 10.2.1 with all system updates to date applied.

  1. Works when and only when your primary language is English. With any other language it silently fails
  2. Mounted volume is ALWAYS read only even when you mounted your URI with authentication
  3. Attempt to mount ftp://localhost/ causes desaster -- can't even type "sudo shutdown -r now" on

In short, this is still a feature too immature and unstable to recommend to my friends. No wonder Apple has left this feature undocumented.

Though I don't feel the need of ftp very high I would appreciate if Apple fixes this because Windoze 98 and above can handle ftp:// correctly.

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ftp:// is too dangerous
Authored by: dankogai on Oct 27, '02 11:05:33AM

Further analysis has shown that ftp:// via cmd-K is still too dangerous. mounting ftp is implemented as the command below;

/System/Library/Filesystems/ftp.fs/csmount -m /Volumes/server.some.where ftp://server.some.where/path/to/dir/

The problem is this command never dies even when you dragged the mounted volume to the trash. The only way to kill the command above is;

sudo killall csmount

IMHO Apple should've deleted /System/Library/Filesystems/ftp.fs when they shipped Jaguar. I hope Apple fixes ftp:// to the extent they can proudly document it.

Dan the Man with Too Many Undocumented Features Seen

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Works fine for me
Authored by: Chris66 on Oct 28, '02 06:14:24AM

And I'm working on a German system ...
To unmount just press command + E (the same as for unmounting other volumes)

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Has anyone gotten this to work yet?
Authored by: tcurtin on Jan 20, '03 08:39:18AM

I can't imagine why this doesn't work - it should just be a simple ftp command... There are plenty of ftp clients, its a well-understood protocol...

In any case, I'm wondering if anyone's found a workaround yet - I still can't get it to work using 10.2.3, and its keeping me from doing some fairly important work on my mac. (I got used to saving important excel and word files as web pages online - neat feature, which there's no way to duplicate on my mac?!?! Most annoying...)

Here's a fun error that shows up in a console window when trying to ftp. no_worky?! ;)

execstring: /System/Library/Filesystems/ftp.fs/csmount -m /Volumes/
no worky! domain:5, error550
2003-01-20 08:19:31.553 csmount[6596] CFLog (20): Authentication: Enter username and password
no worky! domain:5, error550

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OS X FTP -Has anyone gotten this to work yet?
Authored by: victoria stevens on Apr 09, '03 01:16:09PM

Per Apple Knowledgebase Article ID: 106472
Created: 9/26/01
Modified: 1/6/03

To install FTP, install the BSD packages using the Mac OS X Installer. Use your Mac OS X Installation CD to perform a custom install of the BSD Subsystem (BSD.pkg).

Find it ond Disk 1 under Welcome to Mac OS X > Optional Installs > BSD Subsystem

Note: that's "Subsystem", not the plain old BSD package.


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Use the Finder's FTP integration to search FTP sites
Authored by: tcurtin on Jul 30, '03 03:12:02PM

Actually, that article is for people who haven't installed ftp at all - the problem here is when you install and then lose your connection.

However, actually addresses the "no worky" message in the console window - except it just says its due to getting a password wrong or a problem with the server... so no, it looks like there's no help from apple yet.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pe

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