Upload To FTP Servers The Git Way

Yashu Mittal

If you are a person who love Git and don’t want to use FTP, becuase it doesn’t support Git, then this article is for you.

Are you using Git and want to upload your files to an FTP server, Git-ftp can save you some time and bandwidth by determining which local files to upload or which files to delete on the remote host and uploading only those files that changed since the last upload.

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.

It keeps track of the uploaded files by storing the commit id in a log file on the server. It uses Git to determine which local files have changed.

Even if you play with different branches, git-ftp knows which files are different and handles only those files or go back in the Git history to upload an older version.

For example:

# Setup
git config git-ftp.url ""
git config git-ftp.user "ftp-user"
git config git-ftp.password "secr3t"

# Upload all files
git ftp init

# Or if the files are already there
git ftp catchup

# Work and deploy
echo "new content" >> index.txt
git commit index.txt -m "Add new content"
git ftp push
# 1 file to sync:
# [1 of 1] Buffered for upload 'index.txt'.
# Uploading ...
# Last deployment changed to ded01b27e5c785fb251150805308d3d0f8117387.


There are lot of way you can install git-ftp:

  1. Windows
  2. Mac


There are at least two ways to install git-ftp on Windows.

Git for Windows, former msysgit (recommended)

Install Git for Windows. It comes with curl installed, but it doesn’t support SFTP by default. In order to use SFTP, download curlfor Windows with SFTP support. Win32 2000/XP MSI or Win64 2000/XP x86_64 MSI is recommended. If you installed curl, then remove bin/curl.exe from your Git for Windows installation directory. It will fall back to the newly installed version.

Finally, open the Git Bash which is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Git by default.

curl > /bin/git-ftp
chmod 755 /bin/git-ftp

Note: the */bin* directory is an alias. By default this is the same as *C:\Program Files (x86)\Git\usr\bin*.


Install cygwin and install the package ‘curl’. Then open the cygwin console and install Git-ftp with the following commands:

curl > /bin/git-ftp
chmod 755 /bin/git-ftp

Git for Windows and cygwin both installed

If you have both Git for Windows and cygwin installed on Windows and want to use Git for Windows for Git commands, you may get an error “No such file or directory” for a path starting with “/cygdrive/”, for example:

creating `/cygdrive/c/TEMP/git-ftp-m7GH/delete_tmp': No such file or directory

The problem is that Git-ftp use commands from both Git for Windows and cygwin directories. But by default, cygwin is configured to start paths with the prefix “/cygdrive” while Git for Windows starts paths with “/”. To fix the problem, open file “\etc\fstab” (e.g. “c:\cygwin\etc\fstab”) and change parameter “/cygwin/” to “/”, for example:

# This is default:
none /cygdrive/ cygdrive binary,posix=0,user 0 0

change to:

# This is changed:
none / cygdrive binary,posix=0,user 0 0

After this, close all console windows and try again.


First, ensure you have installed Xcode and command line tools. Command line tools can be download at or via command:

xcode-select --install

Using homebrew:

brew install git
brew install curl --with-ssl --with-libssh2
brew install git-ftp


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