501 server cannot accept argument

Issue of FTP connection from Linux to Windows Server

If you issue a ftp command to connect to a FTP service hosted on Windows Server, you will receive an error:

501 server cannot accept argument

The 501 error implies that some of your action send to FTP server is not supported. See this article

501 - Header values specify a configuration that is not implemented.


The greatest chance of seeing this issue is that your FTP client trying to send PORT command to the server, which means using Active mode. And apparently, your client side firewall does not allow this.

The solution is to use passive mode, obviously:

ftp -p

That’s it. :)



Microsoft KB

Written on May 9, 2017