Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In a bash script, I am using curl command on linux to download files from a FTP server.

The command I am using is the following (the information about the FTP server connexion is stored in a .netrc file):

curl -v -netrc "ftp://my.ftp.server/foo/bar.txt" -o bar.txt

This is working pretty well, except that if the bar.txt is empty (size file = 0).

How do I force curl to download the file, i.e. getting a bar.txt which is empty?

share|improve this question
If you omit the '-o' option, does it display the file to stdout? Does the file on the FTP server actually contain anything? What troubleshooting have you done? – EmmEff Sep 18 '09 at 14:07
FWIW: If using netrc you need to use two dashes: --netrc. I would try to use curl --trace-ascii - --netrc "my.ftp.server/foo/bar.txt"; and check the output. – Wolf Jan 18 '10 at 16:04

Looks like this is a low importance bug, as stated here

In a script, you can check that if for an FTP/FTPS transfer the exit code is 0, but the file is not there, most probably the file from the remote server is empty.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.