Archive for windows explorer

Installing Firefox from the command line… in Windows!

Posted in Browser, Computer, How to, Windows with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2013 by Sirusdark


Recently, I was servicing a client’s system remotely and Internet Explorer (IE) would not access the Internet anymore.

I had to find a solution until the problem could be investigated. (it was found that IE got blocked in firewall settings AND needed a reset)

So there I was, wondering how I could  access the Internet WITHOUT a web browser. Then it hit me: I could still use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) from the command line (CMD)!

After a quick Internet search, I was able to locate Mozilla’s FTP repository and installed Firefox on the client’s computer from the command line!


Yes, it’s possible to use Windows Explorer to do the same thing. I’ve also included how at the end. But in my case, the command line was the fastest solution since there was a terrible lag with the remote GUI.

So here’s another Sirus guide on How to install Firefox from the command line on Windows (XP/Vista/7/8):

-It is NOT meant to be a step by step guide. I dislike those type of guides because you learn nothing and they usually become obsolete when something change… like that June 14, 2009 article. Instead, I’ll explain how it works, step by step.
-I’ve tried to keep it simple so anyone can do it!

-FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another host over a network, such as the Internet.

There are 2 transfer modes  : ascii and binary.

Ascii is the default mode and works  fine for any normal files.
Binary is the mode you want to use when transferring executable program files or binary data files, so they stay intact and don’t get corrupted. This is the one we’ll use since we want to download a Firefox installer.

CMD is the command-line interpreter in Windows. In Linux it’s usually called the console. Fun fact: Linux and Mac share many commands, since they’re both UNIX based.

-Windows CMD
-The FTP address of the file we need (file location may change):

Note about versions: You can install whatever version you want. I prefer the simple approach:  go in the directory named latest and you’re done. Easy!
-Mouse (optional)

-Open computer
-Open CMD
-Connect to Mozilla’s public FTP repository
-Navigate the folders until you reach the one with the installer you need
-Download file (Firefox)
-Wait for download to finish (grab a coffee or something)
-Exit FTP
-Exit CMD
-Install Firefox
-Update Firefox
-Shutdown computer
-Go to sleep

Real piece of cake.


The only CMD commands you’ll need are:



The only FTP commands you’ll need are:

get “file_name_here”


Later, when you’ll have forgotten everything, just remember one command: help. It lists all the available commands and you can then type “help” and a command from the list for more information, like this:

help command_name

It works exacty the same in both CMD and in FTP mode.


-Open Windows CMD: Hit the Window key + R (opens the run dialog prompt) then type cmd.

-Here are the commands you’ll use (text after “//” are comments. Don’t type that):

ftp    // Switch to ftp mode in CMD.
open    // Connect to Mozilla’s FTP server at
anonymous    // Use that user name. It means anyone can access these files.
anonymous    // Same thing for the password. Note that the password is hidden and you can’t see what you type.
ls    // ls means: list. It lists files and folders. Once you’ve located the folder you need, use “cd” to go in that folder.
cd folder_name    // cd means: Change Directory. Simple enough!
lcd    // lcd means: List Current Directory. It will set and show you where files will be downloaded to. Take it in note, that’s where you’ll find the installer.
binary    // Once you’ve found your file (a .exe), switch to binary transfer mode, as previously explained.
get “file_name.exe”   // Will download the file. It’s important to use the double quotes around the file name. It is case sentitive so type the file name exacly how its displayed.
bye    //Wait for the download to finish, then type “bye” to quit ftp. How cute!

exit    // Type exit to quit the CMD command line.

Now, go to the directory in your computer where you downloaded Firefox (that FTP “lcd” command) and install it! Once install, make sure to check for updates and voilà!

Simple! Takes about 10 minutes, top. And it’s a fun too!

You can now navigate by yourself any FTP repository out there without any assistance and impress your peers with your newly acquired mad command line skillz!


Saving CMD command history
-If you want to save everything you typed in CMD, you can save the command history in a text file. Do so by typing exactly this in CMD (before you exit, duh):

doskey /history > yourtextfile.txt

-Using Windows Explorer GUI

Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer) also has a built in FTP client. Type in the address bar: and you will be prompted for the password (if any).  So our current example becomes :



Have a question, a suggestion or a comment? Let me know!

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