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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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Mounting a Remote FTP Directory

Mount an FTP site right on your Desktop for perusal and easy downloading of files and turn on remote FTP access to your own Mac.

It used to be that just about any time you wanted to download something from the Internet, it was hosted on an FTP server. I’ve spent many an hour perusing FTP sites in search of some piece of open source software, a driver for my Linux box, or Perl modules. These days almost anything you download is made available to you via HTTP by clicking a link on a web site.

Still, sometimes a little FTP spelunking is in order. You can do it the old-fashioned way using ftp or ncftp on the command line. You can also open an FTP directory in your web browser. But if you’re grabbing more than one file at a time, nothing beats a GUI FTP client. Nothing, that is, before OS X granted you the ability to mount remote FTP shares on your Desktop alongside AppleTalk, Windows [Hack #73], and WebDAV [Hack #74] shares.

Mounting Anonymous FTP Shares

To mount an anonymous (read: open to all) FTP site on your desktop, you’ll need to start from the Finder. Select Go Connect to Server . . . or press

Mounting Anonymous FTP Shares

-K to bring up the Connect to Server dialog box.

Enter the FTP URL into the Address field and click the Connect button. In Figure 6-33, I’m connecting to a mirror site for the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), the place to find Perl modules. ...

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