FTP with Python: Quick file stashing

Recently at work, our team[1] built an app to track Atlantic and Pacific tropical storms during hurricane season. To keep the map current — and avoid manual processing — we run a Python script at regular intervals to check shapefiles at the National Hurricane Center and convert them to GeoJSON. After conversion, we push the GeoJSON to our cached storage environment. Using flat files keeps things fast and tidy.

To publish the files, we ship via FTP. A colleague told me about Python’s built-in FTP support, and I was really happy with how easy it was for me to write a script to handle the task.

Here’s a sample script that logs into an FTP server and uploads all files in a local directory. Grab it, along with other useful bits, at my python-snippets repository on GitHub.

# Store all files in a local directory to a server
# using FTP

from ftplib import FTP
import os

# ftp settings
settings = {
    'ftp': {
        'url': 'ftp.some-server.com',
        'username': 'your-account-name',
        'password': 'your-password',
        'remote-directory': '/path/to/files'

# local paths
paths = {
   'local-directory': 'my-files/'

# list of local files
files = os.listdir(paths['local-directory'])

# connect and store
for f in files:
    ftp = FTP(settings['ftp']['url'])
    ftp.login(settings['ftp']['username'], settings['ftp']['password'])
    ftp.storbinary('STOR ' + f, open(paths['local-directory'] + f, 'rb'))

[1] Python hackery by Andrea Fuller, mapping by Juan Thomassie, design/production direction by Kristin DeRamus and Maureen Linke. I rode devops/producer this time around.

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