File Transfer Using FTP

MBARI provides an anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server to facilitate the transfer of data and other research related information between MBARI staff members, their colleagues, and their collaborators. Any use of MBARI’s FTP site or server for anything other than MBARI sanctioned projects and research is prohibited. All access and transfers are logged.

Server Name, User ID, and Password

  • Server name –
  • User ID – anonymous or ftp
  • Password – Please use your full email address (i.e.

Directory Structure

Once connected to the FTP server, you will see two directories (folders):

  • /incoming – The /incoming directory is the ONLY place where you may upload files using anonymous FTP. You may create sub-directories in /incoming if you have a lot of files to upload, to keep them together. Please note that you cannot see the contents of /incoming including those items that you upload. You may not download anything from /incoming.
  • /pub – The /pub directory tree is the location for files that may be downloaded using anonymous ftp. Attempting to retrieve a file from any directory outside /pub will result in an error being returned by the server.

Accessing the Server

You may access the server in a number of different ways:

  • Graphical user interface (GUI) FTP clients are recommended, as they provide easy drag-and-drop capabilities for uploading and downloading files via FTP, and are designed for robust file transfers. There are many to choose from, and features vary from one to another. Some free options are FileZilla or Cyberduck for Windows and macOS, or WinSCP for Windows.
  • For modest downloading only, the built-in FTP support in Windows File Explorer or macOS Finder can be sufficient. Type (or copy and paste) to the File Explorer address bar or the Finder Connect to Server field, and you can browse the FTP site as if it were a folder on your computer, and download files by dragging and dropping.
  • Command line FTP client tools are included with most operating systems, and may be preferred by those comfortable with command line tools. See your computer support resources if you need help with command line FTP.

Automatic Purge

  • PLEASE NOTE: The FTP directories are automatically purged every Sunday morning at 2:00AM. Any files in the /pub directory tree which are over 15 days old will be automatically deleted. Any files in the /incoming directory which are over 7 days old will also be deleted. If you are delivering a file to MBARI, be sure to notify your contact after your upload is complete so they may collect the file in a timely manner.

FTP links (URLs)

Clickable links to documents or folders on FTP servers can be included in email messages or web pages for easy access. An example of an FTP link for MBARI’s server would be, where folder and file will be replaced with the particular folder(s) and file names pointing to the linked file. If your system is configured with an FTP client defined for handling FTP URLs, clicking on the link will open the FTP client and start the file transfer (if a single file is specified) or open a window showing the FTP directory contents (if an FTP folder is specified). If an FTP client is not configured for automatic handling of clicked FTP URLs, the URL can be copied and pasted into an FTP client, Windows File Explorer, or macOS Finder’s Connect to Server dialog to access the resource.