Git-ftp(1) Git powered FTP client written as shell script.


git-ftp actions (#options) url (#url)...


Git-ftp is a FTP client using Git to determine which local files to upload or which files should be deleted on the remote host.

It saves the deployed state by uploading the SHA1 hash in the .git-ftp.log file. There is no need for Git ( to be installed on the remote host.

Even if you play with different branches, git-ftp knows which files are different and only handles those files. No ordinary FTP client can do this and it saves time and bandwidth.

Another advantage is Git-ftp only handles files which are tracked with Git (


Initializes the first upload to remote host.
Uploads files which have changed since last upload.
Uploads the .git-ftp.log file only. We have already uploaded the files to remote host with a different program and want to remember its state by uploading the .git-ftp.log file.
Downloads last uploaded SHA1 from log and hooks `git show`.
Downloads last uploaded SHA1 from log and hooks `git log`.
add-scope <scope>
Creates a new scope (e.g. dev, production, testing, foobar). This is a wrapper action over git-config. See SCOPES section for more information.
remove-scope <scope>
Remove a scope.
Prints a usage help.


-u [username], --user [username]
FTP login name. If no argument is given, local user will be taken.
-p [password], --passwd [password]
FTP password. See -P for interactive password prompt.
-P, --ask-passwd
Ask for FTP password interactively.
-k [[user]@[account]], --keychain [[user]@[account]]
FTP password from KeyChain (Mac OS X only).
-a, --all
Uploads all files of current Git checkout.
-A, --active
Uses FTP active mode.
-b [branch], --branch [branch]
Push a specific branch
-s [scope], --scope [scope]
Using a scope (e.g. dev, production, testing, foobar). See SCOPE and DEFAULTS section for more information.
-l, --lock
Enable remote locking.
-D, --dry-run
Does not upload or delete anything, but tries to get the .git-ftp.log file from remote host.
-f, --force
Does not ask any questions, it just does.
-n, --silent
Be silent.
-h, --help
Prints some usage information.
-v, --verbose
Be verbose.
Be as verbose as possible. Useful for debug information.
Specifies the remote root directory to deploy to. The remote path in the URL is ignored.
Specifies a local directory to sync from as if it were the git project root path.
SSH private key file name.
SSH public key file name. Used with --key option.
Don't verify server's certificate.
--cacert <file>
Use as CA certificate store. Useful when a server has got a self-signed certificate.
Tell curl to disable the use of the EPSV command when doing passive FTP transfers. Curl will normally always first attempt to use EPSV before PASV, but with this option, it will not try using EPSV.
Prints version.


The scheme of an URL is what you would expect


Below a full featured URL to on port 2121 to path mypath using protocol ftp:

But, there is not just FTP. Supported protocols are:

FTP (default if no protocol is set)
FTP over explicit SSL (FTPES) protocol


Don't repeat yourself. Setting config defaults for git-ftp in .git/config

$ git config git-ftp.<(url|user|password|syncroot|cacert|keychain)> <value>

Everyone likes examples:

$ git config git-ftp.user john
$ git config git-ftp.url
$ git config git-ftp.password secr3t
$ git config git-ftp.syncroot path/dir
$ git config git-ftp.cacert caCertStore
$ git config git-ftp.deployedsha1file mySHA1File
$ git config git-ftp.insecure 1
$ git config git-ftp.key ~/.ssh/id_rsa
$ git config git-ftp.keychain [email protected]

After setting those defaults, push to [email protected] is as simple as

$ git ftp push


Need different config defaults per each system or environment? Use the so called scope feature.

Useful if you use multi environment development. Like a development, testing and a production environment.

$ git config git-ftp.<scope>.<(url|user|password|syncroot|cacert)> <value>

So in the case below you would set a testing scope and a production scope.

Here we set the params for the scope "testing"

$ git config git-ftp.testing.url
$ git config git-ftp.testing.password simp3l

Here we set the params for the scope "production"

$ git config git-ftp.production.user manager
$ git config git-ftp.production.url
$ git config git-ftp.production.password n0tThatSimp3l

Pushing to scope testing alias [email protected]:8080/foobar-path using password simp3l

$ git ftp push -s testing

Note: The SCOPE feature can be mixed with the DEFAULTS feature. Because we didn't set the user for this scope, git-ftp uses john as user as set before in DEFAULTS.

Pushing to scope production alias [email protected] using password n0tThatSimp3l

$ git ftp push -s production

Hint: If your scope name is identical with your branch name. You can skip the scope argument, e.g. if your current branch is "production":

$ git ftp push -s

You can also create scopes using the add-scope action. All settings can be defined in the URL. Here we create the production scope using add-scope

$ git ftp add-scope production ftp://manager:[email protected]/foobar-path

Deleting scopes is easy using the remove-scope action.

$ git ftp remove-scope production


Add patterns to .git-ftp-ignore and all matching file names will be ignored. The patterns are interpreted as shell glob patterns.

For example, ignoring everything in a directory named config:


Ignoring all files having extension .txt:


Ignoring a single file called foobar.txt:



The .git-ftp-include file specifies intentionally untracked files that Git-ftp should upload. If you have a file that should always be uploaded, add a line beginning with ! followed by the file's name. For example, if you have a file called VERSION.txt then add the following line:


If you have a file that should be uploaded whenever a tracked file changes, add a line beginning with the untracked file's name followed by a colon and the tracked file's name. For example, if you have a CSS file compiled from an SCSS file then add the following line:


If you have multiple source files, you can add multiple lines for each of them. Whenever one of the tracked files changes, the upload of the paired untracked file will be triggered.


If a local untracked file is deleted, a paired tracked file will trigger the deletion of the remote file on the server.

It is also possible to upload whole directories. For example, if you use a package manager like composer, you can upload all vendor packages when the file composer.lock changes:


But keep in mind that this will upload all files in the vendor folder, even those that are on the server already. And it will not delete files from that directory if local files are deleted.


In the backend, Git-ftp uses curl. This means ~/.netrc could be used beside the other options of Git-ftp to authenticate.

$ editor ~/.netrc
login john
password SECRET


There are a bunch of different error codes and their corresponding error messages that may appear during bad conditions. At the time of this writing, the exit codes are:

Unknown error
Wrong Usage
Missing arguments
Error while uploading
Error while downloading
Unknown protocol
Remote locked
Not a Git project


The upstream BTS can be found at <>.


Rene Moser <[email protected]>.