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An interactive service provided by many Internet hosts allowing any user to transfer documents, files, programs, and other archived data using File Transfer Protocol. The user logs in using the special user name "ftp" or "anonymous" and his e-mail address as password. He then has access to a special directory hierarchy containing the publically accessible files, typically in a subdirectory called "pub". This is usually a separate area from files used by local users.
A reference like
ftp: euagate.eua.ericsson.se /pub/eua/erlang/info
means that files are available by anonymous FTP from the host called euagate.eua.ericsson.se in the directory (or file) /pub/eua/erlang/info. Sometimes the hostname will be followed by an Internet address in parentheses. The directory will usually be given as a path relative to the anonymous FTP login directory. A reference to a file available by FTP may also be in the form of a URL starting "ftp:".
See also Archie, archive site, EFS, FTP by mail, World-Wide Web.