Deprecation of FTP File Download Protocol in the PDB Archive

11/01 wwPDB News

The FTP protocol for file downloads has been losing popularity over the years in favor of HTTP/S. There are many advantages of HTTP/S including speed, statelessness, security (HTTPS), and better support. Importantly during the past 2-3 years the main web browsers (Chrome and Firefox) have dropped support for the FTP protocol, which has effectively discontinued the FTP protocol for non-technical users.

Given that the majority of file download activity on the internet has moved to HTTP/S, wwPDB plans to deprecate FTP download protocol on November 1st 2024.

wwPDB has traditionally supported FTP, together with HTTP/S and RSYNC. Gradual deprecation of the FTP protocol, in favor of the HTTP/HTTPS protocol will be approached while maintaining support for the RSYNC protocol which offers additional functionality compared to the other 2 protocols.

As announced previously, we have introduced DNS names that are specific to the protocols:

  • for HTTP/S
  • for FTP. To be deprecated on November 1st 2024. Note that from September 2023 this DNS name will not accept HTTP/S traffic.
  • for RSYNC

Starting September 2023, wwPDB will start enforcing use of these updated DNS names for the preparation of FTP protocol deprecation.

Please contact with any questions.

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