I can connect to a remote ftp server in Finder using the syntax ftp://username@host/path and then supplying the password. I get to see the files in the remote directory and can read them. However I do not seem to have write access to these files. Finder also does not display permissions for them except rather confusingly via Get Info:

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The username used for the remote server is not the same as my username on the Mac. Could this be the problem?

I normally access the ftp server from a Linux machine without these difficulties.

  • 1
    The FTP mounter built into macOS is very basic and (at least last time I tested) only capable of read-only access. The command-line ftp tool is much better, but (of course) doesn't support mounting the server folder. May 3, 2022 at 18:33
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    As explained by Gordon Davisson, the FTP mount utility used by the Finder only has read-only support, as stated in man mount_ftp: The rdonly option will be set even if it was not specified because mount_ftp does not allow files to be opened with write access on servers. If you wish to use the ftp command, you will have to install it yourself, for example the tnftp Homebrew package (brew.sh), as ftp is not included in macOS since 10.13 High Sierra.
    – jaume
    May 3, 2022 at 19:03
  • Thanks for these comments. So Finder does not allow writing to the remote server. I have now installed Filezilla. I note that if you use Finder to access a remote ftp server and you then modify a remote file by some other means, Finder will not show you the updated file unless you unmount the connection and then reconnect. May 4, 2022 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


The usernames were not the problem. The access to ftp in Finder (at least in Catalina) simply does not provide write access to the remote files.

I have now installed Filezilla. More info at a similar question.

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