RFC 454 (rfc454) - Page 3 of 35

File Transfer Protocol - meeting announcement and a new proposed document

Alternative Format: Original Text Document

RFC 454                  File Transfer Protocol                July 1972



   The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol for file transfer
   between HOSTs (including terminal IMPs), on the ARPA Computer Network
   (ARPANET).  The primary function of FTP is to transfer files
   efficiently and reliably among HOSTs and to allow the convenient use
   of remote file storage capabilities.

   The objectives of FTP are 1) to promote sharing of files (computer
   programs and/or data), 2) to encourage indirect or implicit (via
   programs) use of remote computers, 3) to shield a user from
   variations in file storage systems among HOSTs, and 4) to transfer
   data reliably and efficiently.  FTP, though usable directly by a user
   at a terminal, is designed mainly for use by programs.

   The attempt in this specification is to satisfy the diverse needs of
   users of maxi-HOSTs, mini-HOSTs, TIPs, and the Datacomputer, with a
   simple, elegant, and easily implemented protocol design.

   This paper assumes knowledge of the following protocols:

      1) The HOST-HOST Protocol (NIC #8246)

      2) The Initial Connection Protocol (NIC #7101)

      3) The TELNET Protocol (NWG/RFC #318, NIC #9348)


   In this section, the terminology and the FTP model are discussed.
   The terms defined in this section are only those that have special
   significance in FTP.

II.A  Terminology

   ASCII               The USASCII character set as defined in NIC
                       #7104.  In FTP, ASCII characters are defined to
                       be the lower half of an eight bit code set (i.e.,
                       the most significant bit is zero).

   access controls     Access controls define users' access privileges
                       to the use of a system, and to the files in that
                       system.  Access controls are necessary to prevent
                       unauthorized or accidental use of files.  It is
                       the prerogative of a server-FTP process to
                       provide access controls.