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Preserving the Original Time Stamp of an Uploaded File  -  KB Article #1034

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FTP Voyager supports the MDTM command. If you are connecting to an FTP Server like Serv-U then FTP Voyager can properly communicate the original time stamp to the server. The following are some of the technical details of the MDTM command.


This command is based in UNIX and lets you query the server for the modification date and time of a file or directory. Like UNIX, Serv-U lets the client set the modification date and time of files on the server if the user has sufficient access rights. Its primary use is in synchronizing uploaded files between client and server - the MDTM command allows for the determination of which one has the newer copy of the file. Normally FTP has no way to explicitly set the date of uploaded files, they simply get the date they were created on the server. MDTM lets the client change that so they get the date of the original file or folder on the server. The standard MDTM syntax is:

MDTM yyyymmddhhmmss[+-xxx]
Where ‘yyyymmddhhmmss’ is a line of text with the year, month, day, hour, minutes, and seconds the file should get set to. The next part, “[+-xxx]”, is optional time zone information of the FTP client in minutes relative to UTC.

If the client provides this info FTP Serv-U takes care to convert the date and time to the proper local time at the server, so dates and times are kept consistent (a file created at 4 in the morning in the Eastern US would be created at 10 in Central Europe). If no time zone info is given Serv-U assumes you are specifying local time at the server.

An example, showing how to set the time if the client is in the Eastern US during summer time: “MDTM 19980719103029-240”. This sets the date and time to 19 July 1998, 10:30am 29 seconds, and indicates the client is 240 behind UTC.