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I know that if I open a file/application through ftp, the file gets downloaded on windows 7 and then I run it.

My questions are as follows:
1.On ftp on windows, does it get downloaded to the c://windows/temp folder?
2.On ftp on linux and mac, does it also get downloaded, if so where?
3.On smb on all platforms, is the file/application loaded into memory directly from the server or does it get downloaded to the client and then loaded into memory?

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Different programs behave differently. Are you using an FTP client? If so, which one? Or do you specify an FTP URL in another program? Also, you always have to Download at least part of the file. You might get away without saving it to the disk. – Dennis Mar 27 '13 at 17:46
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The answers to 1. and 2. depend on the settings of your particular system, whether you have given a default directory to your FTP client etc. Using command line FTP on Linux and issuing a get command will download the file to whichever directory you were in when you started ftp.

Most graphical FTP clients have two panes, one showing your local file system and the other the files on the remote server. Downloading usually means copy from the remote pane to the local one. For example, using gftp on Linux:

enter image description here

The left hand pane is my local $HOME directory, and the right hand side shows the files found at If I click on the left pointing arrow, the selected remote file will be downloaded to /home/terdon, if I click on the right pointing arrow, the selected local file will be uploaded to /pub/databases/uniprot.

Using, for example, CuteFTP on Windows, it is even simpler. The left hand pane is your local file system and you can just drag and drop the remote file to wherever you want it:

enter image description here

As for 3, yes the file is loaded from the server. An smb share is treated as a mounted drive, the OS doesn't care how it was mounted, it sees it and treats it as it would any other drive or folder. So, when you open a file that is on a shared drive, it is loaded directly into memory.

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If I could give you two checks I would :D – agz Mar 29 '13 at 19:55
@agovizer give me an upvote then :) – terdon Mar 29 '13 at 19:59

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