I'm using Mac OS X (High Sierra) and would like to run FTP from the command line (as opposed to a client with a GUI). Unfortunately, I don't seem to have it installed ...

localhost:myproject davea$ ftp
-bash: ftp: command not found

and when I tried to install using "brew install ftp" I got the following error ...

Error: No available formula with the name "ftp"
==> Searching for a previously deleted formula...
Warning: homebrew/core is shallow clone. To get complete history run:
  git -C "$(brew --repo homebrew/core)" fetch --unshallow

Error: No previously deleted formula found.
==> Searching for similarly named formulae...
==> Searching local taps...
These similarly named formulae were found:
bbftp-client      curlftpfs         git-ftp           lftp              ncftp             proftpd           pure-ftpd         swiftplate        uberftp           uftp              vsftpd
To install one of them, run (for example):
  brew install bbftp-client
==> Searching taps...
==> Searching taps on GitHub...
Error: No formulae found in taps.

How do I install a command line FTP client on my mac?

  • FTP isn't installed by default, because using it is a major security risk. If there's any way you can switch to using SFTP or FTPS, that would be ideal. Nov 21, 2017 at 3:48
  • 9
    Try the following: brew install inetutils Nov 21, 2017 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


Both ftp and telnet have been removed from High Sierra. If you have Sierra installed and are using either of these commands, you will need to make a copy before upgrading to High Sierra.

You would not necessary need Sierra. If you can find another Mac running macOS or OS X, I suppose you could copy ftp from this machine to your Mac.

  • 11
    This really doesn't answer the question that was asked, which was "How do I install a command line FTP client on my mac?". Telling someone after the fact that need to "make a copy before upgrading to High Sierra" might help someone who hasn't upgraded yet but it does not answer the OP's question! Nov 21, 2017 at 12:46
  • @user3439894: What do you propose I do? I could upload the ftp command from my Sierra to GitHub or SourceForge, but I do not know if this would be legal. I know that "persons" have be known to create new "burner" email accounts and send software that way. This requires cooperation between the asker and answerer to a question. Nov 22, 2017 at 1:58
  • 7
    It's a moot issue as this question has been marked as a duplicate and the linked question How to get BSD FTP and Telnet back in 10.13 (High Sierra)? provides the answer. Nov 22, 2017 at 2:20

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