Command Line Switches

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Command Line Switches


Several command line switches are available to enable optional behavior in Robo-FTP. These are arguments or parameters that may be included on the command line when launching the robo-ftp.exe program. Command line switches may be used from the command prompt or from batch files, VB Scripts, desktop shortcuts, the Windows Task Scheduler or whatever method you use to run Robo-FTP.


The supported method of running Robo-FTP from the command line is to add the program installation directory to the Path environment variable rather than using the full path to invoke robo-ftp.exe. This makes it  possible to install future versions in "side-by-side" mode and simply update the Path variable to control which version of Robo-FTP actually executes.  See "Adding Robo-FTP to the Path" for details.


The general command line syntax is:


robo-ftp [-asn] [-d] [-gfile] [-h] [-l] [-m] [-n] [-px arg] [-sfile] [-t] [-v] [-w] [&var1& | %var2%]


The following paragraphs describe these and other optional parameters in detail:


-a sn[+removal code]Activate license


The -a switch allows for automatic license activation. Normally activation is done manually from the Help menu. In cases where Robo-FTP is run hidden or is launched from another process, this may not be possible. When activating Robo-FTP for the first time include the serial number in the switch. For example:


 robo-ftp.exe a123456789012


When reactivating Robo-FTP include the serial number and removal code in the switch as shown below. Notice that the serial number and removal code are separated with a plus sign. Also there should be no spaces embedded in the removal code.


 robo-ftp.exe a123456789012+1234ABCD4567EFGH8901IJKL


If Robo-FTP is already activated then this switch is ignored.


-dDebug mode


The -d switch activates the debug mode. The debug mode writes internal debug information to the Trace Log file during script processing. This switch is only useful for diagnostics to be interpreted by a Robo-FTP technical support engineer.


-g fileGet import settings file


The -g switch specifies the optional settings file to be used to configure Robo-FTP. Settings files have a .set or .sar extension and are created by a previous run of Robo-FTP. The settings are read from the file and transferred to the Windows registry overwriting previously existing settings. If the settings file contains compressed items from the %installdir\ProgramData or the <My Documents>\Robo-FTP 3.X.folders those files will also be inflated and copied into the current installation. Typically settings would only need to be imported once. Also, refer to the EXPORT and IMPORT script commands for more information.


-h Run hidden


The -h switch results in Robo-FTP running with the main Robo-FTP console window completely invisible from the desktop. Warning pop-ups and other dialog boxes will still be displayed. If you wish to run Robo-FTP in a non-interactive way (such as from a scheduler) then you should use the -v switch instead of the -h switch.


-l Lock a minimized window


The -l switch may be specified with the -m switch to lock the minimized state of Robo-FTP and prevent a user from maximizing the window. This may be advantageous to prevent users from having access to the console window and its associated controls. This switch is ignored if the -m switch is not present.


-m Run minimized


The -m switch results in Robo-FTP starting with its console window minimized. This also hides the splash screen.


-nNo splash screen


The -n switch suppresses the Robo-FTP splash screen that is otherwise displayed when the program first loads.


-px argPass external values into the command script


Use of the -p switch is the preferred method to pass external arguments into Robo-FTP from a shortcut or the Windows Command Prompt command line. The value x must be the single digit 1 - 9. Therefore, up to nine arguments may be passed this way and are assigned to internally defined script file variables %1 through %9. The single space between x and arg is required.


The advantage to this method over the legacy method (see below) is that Windows environment variables (e.g., %SystemDrive%, %USERNAME%, etc.) as well as user defined strings may be passed into Robo-FTP. Consider this example where the name of a file to process is passed on the command line:


 robo-ftp.exe -p1 FridaySales.xls


The values could then be used by Robo-FTP as follows:




Remember to enclose strings with embedded spaces in quotation marks. You cannot mix multiple environment variables and/or environment variables and user strings in the same argument. Use of this method and the legacy method on the same command line is not recommended.


-r Wait Type Wait to execute if the same script is already running


The -r switch causes Robo-FTP to wait to begin processing the script until there are no other instances of Robo-FTP running the same script. This switch is only meaningful in combination with the -s switch described below. Possible values of Wait Type are abort, continue, infinite or the number of seconds to wait for the previous instance to complete.


-s fileExecute script file


The -s switch specifies the script file to be loaded and executed. Pressing the (Esc) key or clicking the Stop button cancels script file execution. If an absolute path name for the file argument is not specified, Robo-FTP will search for the script with the provided name from the "Scripts" namespace of the "Alternate Default File Path".


-t [ id string ]Specify identification string for use with the Monitor applet


The -t switch specifies a string identifier used to identify this particular instance of Robo-FTP to Monitor (a Windows tray applet) provided with Robo-FTP that may be used to monitor the operation of Robo-FTP when it is running as a Windows service or when it is running minimized. For more information see Monitoring a Robo-FTP Service and the SRVNAME script command. See also installing services from the command line.


-v Disable the user interface (Deprecated)


The -v switch disables the user interface for running in a non interactive session. This option is deprecated as Robo-FTP now detects a non interactive session automatically.


-w dir Specify the working directory


The -w switch specifies the working directory. For more information see the WORKINGDIR script command.


Deprecated switches:



- or -

%sub-parm%Define Shortcut Target argument (legacy method)


Alternatively to the newer -p switch, arguments delimited by & or % are assigned to internally defined script file variables %1 through %9. There can be up to nine script file variables assigned in this way. Script file variable arguments must follow the last switch passed into Robo-FTP as shown below.


 robo-ftp.exe -n -sscript.s %var1% %var2% &var3& &var 4& "&final argument&"


Using the example legacy command-line above with deprecated script arguments, we can convert this into the newer -pN argument style by dropping any surrounding & or % characters, replacing them with surrounding double quote (") characters if the argument contains spaces or other special characters, and prepending a -pN switch, where N is a number that increases from 1 to 9 for each argument:


 robo-ftp.exe -n -sscript.s -p1 var1 -p2 var2 -p3 var3 -p4 "var 4" -p5 "final argument"



Return Codes


It is also possible to return a numeric value back to the command line environment from which Robo-FTP was launched. This value is commonly known as a return code or errorlevel and can be set in script logic by the EXIT command. When the EXIT command is not used, the following values are returned when running Robo-FTP from the command line:






Robo-FTP licensing system failed.


Maximum number of instances allowed have been launched.



Related command(s): EXEC, EXIT

See also: Configurator command line switches, Installing a service from the command line