[cs631apue] FTP error

Jan Schaumann jschauma at stevens.edu
Mon Sep 3 22:52:26 EDT 2018

Aubhik Mazumdar <amazumda at stevens.edu> wrote:
> I have been trying to fetch the course code files using FTP on my MAC OS X but it keeps giving the error-
> nodename nor servname provided, or not known

This error should only occur if your system can not resolve the name
www.cs.stevens.edu.  You suggest that it can, though, so it's odd that
you would see that error.

When describing a problem, it's best to always include the exact and
complete input and output of the commands you have problems with.

> I tried the exact command in the lecture01 slides first-
> ftp https://www.cs.stevens.edu/~jschauma/631/welcome.c

What is the _exact_ output of this command?

For example, there's a difference between

ftp: Can't lookup `www.cs.stevens.edu': nodename nor servname provided, or not known


ftp: Can't lookup `https': nodename nor servname provided, or not known

In the former case, the command tries to look for 'www.cs.stevens.edu'
and doesn't find the IP address for it; in the second case, it's trying
to look for a host named 'https' and can't find that.  (This may be the
case if the ftp command in use does not have support for https, for

It's not clear from your error report which case you are seeing (or
if you're seeing another case).

On OS X or other unix variants, you may also try to use curl(1) or
wget(1) instead of ftp(1); the examples given in the slides are
intentionally and specifically given for the reference platform (i.e.


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