[CONF] Apache Camel: FTP (page edited)

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[CONF] Apache Camel: FTP (page edited)

Dhiraj Bokde (Confluence)

FTP has been edited by Claus Ibsen (Nov 03, 2008).

Change summary:

CAMEL-1044 backported to 1.5.1

(View changes)


FTP/SFTP Component

This component provides access to remote file systems over the FTP and SFTP protocols.
This component is an extension of the File component.

URI format


Where filename represents the underlying file name or directory. Can contain nested folders.
The username is currently only possible to provide in the hostname parameter.

If no username is provided then anonymous login is attempted using no password.
If no port number is provided. Camel will provide default values according to the protocol. (ftp = 21, sftp = 22)




In Camel 1.4 or older the FTP consumer uses an internal timestamp for last polling. This timestamp is used to match for new remote files: if remote file modified timestamp > last poll timestamp => file can be consumed.

In Camel 1.5 this algorithm has been disabled by default as its not reliable over the FTP protocol. FTP Servers only return file modified timestamps using HH:mm (not seconds). And of course the clocks between the client and server can also be out of sync. Bottom line is that timestamp check for FTP protocol should not be used. That is why this feature is marked as @deprecated and will be removed in Camel 2.0.

We encourage you to use a different strategy for matching new remote files: such as deleting or moving the file after download.


Name Default Value Description
directory true indicates whether or not the given file name should be interpreted by default as a directory or file (as it sometimes hard to be sure with some FTP servers)
password null specifies the password to use to login to the remote file system
binary false specifies the file transfer mode BINARY or ASCII. Default is ASCII.
ftpClientConfig null Camel 1.5: Reference to a bean in the registry as a org.apache.commons.net.ftp.FTPClientConfig class. Use this option if you need to configure the client according to the FTP Server date format, locale, timezone, platform etc. See the javadoc FTPClientConfig for more documentation.
consumer.recursive true/false if a directory, will look for changes in files in all the sub directories. Is true as default for Camel 1.4 or older. Will change to false as default value as of Camel 1.5
consumer.setNames false Used by FTPConsumer. If set to true Camel will set the special filename header FileComponent.HEADER_FILE_NAME value to the filename from the FTP Server.
Note: In Camel 1.4 the default value has changed to true.
consumer.delay 500 Delay in millis between each poll
consumer.initialDelay 1000 Millis before polling starts
consumer.userFixedDelay false true to use fixed delay between pools, otherwise fixed rate is used. See ScheduledExecutorService in JDK for details.
consumer.regexPattern null Used by FTPConsumer. Regular expression to use for matching files when consuming.
consumer.exclusiveReadLock false Camel 1.5: Used by FTPConsumer. If set to true Camel will only poll the ftp files if it has exclusive read to the file (= the file is not in progress of being written). Camel will wait until it is granted, testing once every second. The test is implemented by Camel will try to rename the file. Setting to false Camel will poll the file even if its in progress of being written.
consumer.deleteFile false Camel 1.5: Used by FTPConsumer. Flag to set if the consumed file should be deleted after it has been downloaded.
consumer.moveNamePrefix null Camel 1.5: Used by FTPConsumer. The prefix String perpended to the filename when moving it. For example to move processed files into the done directory, set this value to 'done/'
consumer.moveNamePostfix null Camel 1.5: Used by FTPConsumer. The postfix String appended to the filename when moving it. For example to rename processed files from foo to foo.old set this value to '.old'
consumer.excludedNamePrefix null Camel 1.5: Used by FTPConsumer. Is used to exclude files if filename is starting with the given prefix.
consumer.excludedNamePostfix null Camel 1.5: Used by FTPConsumer. Is used to exclude files if filename is ending with the given postfix.
consumer.timestamp false Camel 1.5: @deprecated will be removed in Camel 2.0. This option is only for backwards comparability.
expression null Camel 1.5: Use expression to dynamically set the filename. This allows you to very easily set dynamic pattern style filenames. If an expression is set it take precedes over the org.apache.camel.file.name header. (Note: The header can itself also be an expression). The expression options supports both String and Expression types. If the expression is a String type then its always evaluated using the File Language. If the expression is an Expression type then this type is of course used as it - this allows for instance to use OGNL as expression too.
passiveMode false Camel 1.5.1/2.0: Set whether to use passive mode connections. Default is active. This feature is only for regular FTP, not SFTP.

New default behavior for FTP/SFTP-Consumers in Camel 1.5

The consumer will always skip any file which name starts with a dot, such as ".", ".camel", ".m2" or ".groovy". Only files (not directories) is matched for valid filename if options such as: consumer.regexPattern, consumer.excludeNamePrefix, consumer.excludeNamePostfix is used.

The consumer recursive option will be changed from true to false as the default value. We don't feel that Camel out-of-the-box should recursive poll.

The consumer will not use timestamp algorithm for determine if a remote file is a new file - see warning section above. To use the old behavior of Camel 1.4 or older you can use the option consumer.timestamp=true.

Exclusive Read Lock

The new option consumer.exclusiveReadLock can be used to force Camel not to consume files that is currently in the progress of being written. However this option is default turned off, as it requires that the user has write access. There are other solutions to avoid consuming files that are currently being written over FTP, for instance you can write the a temporary destination and move the file after it has been written.

Message Headers

The following message headers can be used to affect the behavior of the component

Header Description
org.apache.camel.file.name Specifies the output file name (relative to the endpoint directory) to be used for the output message when sending to the endpoint. If this is not present and no expression either then a generated message Id is used as filename instead.
org.apache.camel.file.name.produced New in Camel 1.5: The actual absolute filepath (path + name) for the output file that was written. This header is set by Camel and its purpose is providing end-users the name of the file that was written.
file.remote.host The hostname of the remote server
file.remote.name The name of the file consumed from the remote server
file.remote.fullName The fullname of the file consumed from the remote server

Consumer properties

When using FTPConsumer (downloading files from a FTP Server) the consumer specific properties from the File component should be prefixed with "consumer.". For example the delay option from File Component should be specified as "consumer.delay=30000" in the URI. See the samples or some of the unit tests of this component.

Filename Expression

In Camel 1.5 we have support for setting the filename using an expression. This can be set either using the expression option or as a string based File Language expression in the org.apache.camel.file.name header. See the File Language for some samples.

Known issues

See the timestamp warning.

When consuming files (downloading) you must use type conversation to either String or to InputStream for ASCII and BINARY file types.
In Camel 1.4 this is fixed, as there are build in type converters for the ASCII and BINARY file types, meaning that you do not need the convertBodyTo expression.

In Camel 1.4 or below Camel FTPConsumer will poll files regardless if the file is currently being written. See the consumer.exclusiveReadLock option.

Also in Camel 1.3 since setNames is default false then you must explicitly set the filename using the setHeader expression when consuming from FTP directly to File.
The code below illustrates this:

private String ftpUrl = "ftp://camelrider@localhost:21/public/downloads?password=admin&binary=false";
private String fileUrl = "file:myfolder/?append=false&noop=true";

return new RouteBuilder() {
    public void configure() throws Exception {
        from(ftpUrl).setHeader(FileComponent.HEADER_FILE_NAME, constant("downloaded.txt")).convertBodyTo(String.class).to(fileUrl);

Or you can set the option to true as illustrated below:

private String ftpUrl = "ftp://camelrider@localhost:21/public/downloads?password=admin&binary=false&consumer.setNames=true";
private String fileUrl = "file:myfolder/?append=false&noop=true";

return new RouteBuilder() {
    public void configure() throws Exception {


In the sample below we setup Camel to download all the reports from the FTP server once every hour (60 min) as BINARY content and store it as files on the local file system.

protected RouteBuilder createRouteBuilder() throws Exception {
    return new RouteBuilder() {
        public void configure() throws Exception {
            // we use a delay of 60 minutes (eg. once pr. hour we poll the FTP server
            long delay = 60 * 60 * 1000L;

            // from the given FTP server we poll (= download) all the files
            // from the public/reports folder as BINARY types and store this as files
            // in a local directory. Camel will use the filenames from the FTPServer

            // notice that the FTPConsumer properties must be prefixed with "consumer." in the URL
            // the delay parameter is from the FileConsumer component so we should use consumer.delay as
            // the URI parameter name. The FTP Component is an extension of the File Component.
            from("ftp://scott@localhost/public/reports?password=tiger&binary=true&consumer.delay=" + delay).

Using expression for filenames

In this sample we want to move consumed files to a backup folder using today's date as a sub foldername:

from(ftpUrl + "&expression=backup/${date:now:yyyyMMdd}/${file:name}").to("...");

See File Language for more samples.

Debug logging

This component has log level TRACE that can be helpful if you have problems.

See Also