git-ftp man page

Git-ftp — Git powered FTP client written as shell script.


git-ftp [actions] [options] [url]...


This manual page documents briefly the git-ftp program.

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 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. If no argument is given, a password prompt will be shown.

-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.

-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 remote root directory


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 defaults for git-ftp in .git/config

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

After setting those defaults, push to is as simple as

$ git ftp push


Need different 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 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 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

Deleting scopes is easy using the remove-scope action.

$ git ftp remove-scope production

Ignoring Files to Be Synced

Add file names to .git-ftp-ignore to be ignored.

Ignoring all in Directory config:


Ignoring all files having extension .txt in ./ :


This ignores a.txt and b.txt but not dir/c.txt

Ignoring a single file called foobar.txt:


Syncing Untracked Files

To upload an untracked file when a paired tracked file changes (e.g. uploading a compiled CSS file when its source SCSS or LESS file changes), add a file pair to .git-ftp-include:


If you have multiple source files being combined into a single untracked file, you can pair the untracked file with multiple tracked files, one per line. This ensures the combined untracked file is properly uploaded when any of the component tracked files change:



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

Exit Codes

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

Known Issues & Bugs

The upstream BTS can be found at <>.


Rene Moser <>.


2013-12-01 git-ftp User Manual