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what does ftp client's trace do ?

Posted on 2013-01-15
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Last Modified: 2013-01-19
There's an option in Windows ftp client mode called "trace"
& when I typed it in, it gave a message as follows:
ftp> trace
Packet tracing On .
ftp>

What does it do?  Can save the trace output/logs into a file?
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Question by:sunhux
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by:John Hurst
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The trace command displays the route of each packet. You can send the results to a file with:

 [-s:filename]

See for a complete list:

http://www.nsftools.com/tips/MSFTP.htm

... Thinkpads_User
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by:woolmilkporc
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"-s:filename" is for specifying a command (input) file name, not for redirecting output.

Or am I wrong here?
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by:John Hurst
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Or am I wrong here? No. @sunhux - "-s:filename" is for input, not output. Sorry.

Try -d to display all commands between client and server.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:giltjr
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woolmilkporc is correct , the -s:filename tell FTP to read ftp commands from "filename".

I have been trying to see exactly what trace for the last 30 minutes and on Windows V7 it seems to do nothing.  If it is doing something, I can't tell where it is doing it.  I have enabled both debug and trace.  Debug does what it is supposed to do, but trace seems to do nothing.
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by:woolmilkporc
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@giltjr: That's what I observe on my AIX and Linux boxes: "trace" simply does nothing, I couldn't see or find any output data anywhere!
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by:John Hurst
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@sunhux:

If you need a better FTP client, you might try WS_FTP (trial version) or FileZilla (which is a free FTP client).

I use WS_FTP and it provides troubleshooting messages and logs if something goes wrong. Windows FTP is very basic and a true client will probably serve you better.

.... Thinkpads_User
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AlexPace earned 68 total points
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Tf you start the windows command line FTP client with the -d flag it displays the protocol data for troubleshooting.

Robo-FTP has a command named TRACELOG that writes a full protocol trace to the log file specified in the first command argument.  http://www.robo-ftp.com/help/3.8/tracelog.htm
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by:sunhux
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My customer certainly won't allow Opensource freeware & they are not
going to pay for any Commercial ftp client, so I only have one choice, ie
use Windows 2008 R2's ftp client.

So how does trace help me troubleshoot if there's a network disconnect
or timeouts in one of the customer's MetroWAN ?  Where does it save
its output to?
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by:sunhux
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On 2nd thought, may be worthwhile for me to persuade the
customer again to go for Opensource ftp client which could
re-attempt reconnect when there's abrupt disconnect &
'resume' transfer of a disrupted transfer.  

Let me know of any Opensource ftp that could do this
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by:John Hurst
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FileZilla is open source freeware, so it is worth a try.

WS_FTP is *cheap* and does automatic re-connect. It really is top of class.

My customer ... is not going to pay for any Commercial ftp client

Mention to them how inexpensive it is (less than an average meal) and that it will handle their needs with good support. That is why I use it. And I have used the re-connect feature on occasion.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:giltjr
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Another issue with MS's FTP client is that it does not support any secure ftp methods, it only does clear text.

Most any other open source ftp client, including the ones mentioned by ThinkPads_User, support encrypted FTP (FTPS) or SSHFTP (SFTP), both of which are considered secure.

Some FTP clients also support SCP (RCP type function over SSH) which has some advantages over FTP/FTPS/SFTP.

As for trouble shooting FTP issues right now, you I would suggest a packet capture using Wireshark.
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by:sunhux
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Yep, I heard winscp supports ftps & sftp & could resume with bandwidth throttling
 but just that I can write scripts with it (for Windows scheduler to run it)

ws_ftp comes with email or phone (24x7) or community support?
Can it test the status of transfer & will attempt retransfer if it fails
or got disrupted?

Where can I see it's pricing?
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by:sunhux
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The customer is also concerned with annual maintenance costs
of the licence.
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by:John Hurst
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I purchased a license (about $60 or so) and I pay an annual support fee ( about $20) so I can get updates and email and phone support. I don't know if it 24 hours a day but it serves me well.

Go to www.ipswitch.com for information.
... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
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I noted earlier that WS_FTP will reconnect if disconnected but that is also the answer to your last question.
... Thinkpads_User
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by:sunhux
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Lastly, on my customer's ftp server end, they're using
"Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0" ftp server.

What are the options they can turn on to be able to capture
more logs in the event of disconnects / timeouts ?  Pls describe
step by step as I'm not familiar with this
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by:giltjr
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What are they logging now?  IIS's FTP server doesn't log a whole lot.

Using Wireshark, or MS netmon, to do a packet capture will capture everything.

MS's netmon used to come as an optional program on Windows Servers OS's.  You can capture with netmon and then use Wireshark to look at the capture if you want.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sunhux
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ftp "-d" is not an option in Windows
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