Using FTP in PHP scripts

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is widely used to transfer files across networks. Utilising it in a PHP script allows you to increase the level of sophistication of your PHP scripts as well as learn more about how FTP works. Before proceeding, get the details of an FTP account to which you have read and write access. For example, most Internet service providers give users an account on their Web servers to host a small amount of data, to which access is generally provided via FTP.

Python vs. PHP: Choosing your next project's language

Alternatively, if you have your own UNIX or Linux system, you should already have an FTP server.

Installation

The FTP extension needs no additional libraries to make it work, but you must recompile PHP. To include FTP support, run the following in the PHP source directory:

./configure --enable-ftp [other options]

The --enable-ftp argument configures FTP support to be added. If you want to include support for other extensions, such as PostgreSQL, be sure to specify their respective arguments to the configure script. Then it is just a matter of compiling and installing the FTP-enabled version of PHP. For more information on this process, see the INSTALL file in the PHP source directory.

A basic FTP session

A basic FTP session involves connecting to an FTP server, logging in with a username and password, interacting with the server and closing the connection. The following script can be used to do this:

01     <?
02     $HOST="somehost.com.au";
03     $UN="username";
04     $PW="password";
05     $DIR="/remote/directory/";
06     $FILE="test.txt";
07
08     $conn = ftp_connect($HOST);
09     if(!$conn) {
10        exit("Could not connect to server: $HOST\n");
11    }
12
13    if(!ftp_login($conn,$UN,$PW)) {
14        ftp_quit($conn);
15        exit("Could not log in\n");
16    }
17
18    ftp_chdir($conn,$DIR);
19
20    $files = ftp_nlist($conn,".");
21
22    for($i=0;$i<count($files);$i++) {
23        if(!ftp_get($conn,$files[$i],$files[$i],FTP_ASCII)) {
24            echo "Could not download {$files[$i]}\n";
25        }
26    }
27
28    if(!ftp_put($conn,$DIR.$FILE,$FILE,FTP_ASCII)) {
29        echo "Could not upload $FILE\n";
30    }
31
32    ftp_quit($conn);
33    ?>

Lines 02 through 06 define some parameters that will be specific to your setup. Set $HOST to an FTP server to which you have access; set $UN and $PW to the username and password, respectively, for the server; set $DIR to a directory on the remote server to which you have read and write access; and set $FILE to a local file you want to upload to the remote server.

On line 08, the script attempts to connect to $HOST - if it cannot, it fails out. On line 13, the script sends the username and password information required to authenticate access with the server. If the username and/or password are incorrect - or if there is an error - we exit from the script, informing the user. The script also tidies up after itself, closing the FTP session using ftp_quit().

If all goes well, on line 18 the script changes to the remote directory $DIR. On line 20, we retrieve a list of files in $DIR using the ftp_nlist() function. This function returns an array of files names. On lines 22 through 26, the script loops through the files, retrieving each (line 23) using ftp_get(). The second argument to ftp_get() specifies the local filename to which the remote file will be downloaded. The third argument specifies the remote file in which we are interested.

Finally, the fourth argument is the mode in which to download the file. There are two modes: FTP_ASCII for ASCII or text files; and FTP_BINARY for files in binary format, such as images or executables. Generally speaking, the mode that is chosen only matters if the client, server or both are not UNIX systems. The script uses FTP_ASCII. If any error is encountered when trying to download a file, the script notifies the user. On line 28, the script attempts to upload $FILE to the remote server using ftp_put(). The second argument specifies the remote file name, while the third specifies the local filename. As with ftp_get(), the fourth argument is the mode in which to transfer the file. If an error is encountered, the script tells the user.

The FTP session is closed on line 32 using ftp_quit().

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gavin Sherry

PC World

2 Comments

siva

1

hi how are

eriogorti

Ballard

2

Preschool teachers education

Good morning. Could you imagine how horrible things would be if we always told others how we felt? Life would be intolerably bearable.
I am from Marino and learning to speak English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Firstelectricnewspaper registration fee waived for lith preschool."

Thank :) Ballard.

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?