Keeping an eye on FTP upload progress with hash printing

This content is 15 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

I spent most of yesterday working on some more How-Do-I? videos for Microsoft. The delivery mechanism for these is via FTP, and the command line FTP client in Windows is pretty basic so it doesn’t show progress on uploads by default. My problem was that, when I’m uploading 50MB .zip files to a server, it’s nice to know that the transfer is still working.

Then I remembered something that Garry Martin had mentioned a few months back – the hash command.

Before starting an upload, I turned on hash printing, so the FTP client prints # characters to the console during the upload, demonstrating progress. I still prefer the BSD version on my Mac, which shows progress updates as a percentage by default, but at least I could see progress as Windows XP pushed the file to the server.

Windows FTP client with hash printing enabled

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