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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  DAVE (1)

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dave - DAV Explorer



    dave [OPTIONS] URL


   $ dave -u pcollins -p mypass
   dave> get file.txt

Use dave -h to get help on options.

Use perldoc dave for the whole manpage.


dave is a powerful command-line program for interacting with WebDAV-enabled webservers. With dave you can:
o get and put files
o make directories on a remote webserver
o remove files and directories from a remote webserver
o edit a file on the webserver with a single command
o recursively get a remote directory
o recursively put a local directory
o lock and unlock remote files and directories
o securely transfer over https
o authenticate using the safer Digest authentication
Dave is a part of the PerlDAV project ( and is built on top of the HTTP::DAV perl API.

If you would like to script webdav interactions in Perl checkout the HTTP::DAV API as it’s commands are the basis for dave’s.


-debug N Sets the debug level to N. 0=none. 3=noisy.
-h Prints basic help and options.
-man Prints the full manual (equivalent to perldoc dave).

You will need to use a pager like more or less. e.g.

    dave -man |less

-p <password> Sets the password to be used for the URL. You must also supply a user. See -u.
-u <username> Sets the username to be used for the URL. You must also supply a pass. See -p.
-tmpdir /some/path Create temporary files in /some/path instead of the default /tmp.


<B>cd URLB> changes directories

   dave> open
   dave> cd dir1
   dave> cd ../dir2

<B>cat URLB> shows the contents of a remote file

   dave> open
   dave> cat index.html

Note: you cannot cat a directory (collection).

<B>copy SOURCE_URL DEST_URLB> copies one remote resource to another

  dave> open

Create a copy of dir1/ as dav2/

  dave> cp dir1 dav2

Create a copy of dir1/file.txt as dav2/file.txt

  dave> cd dir1
  dave> copy file.txt ../dav2

Create a copy of file.txt as ../dav2/new_file.txt

  dave> copy file.txt dav2/new_file.txt

Aliases: cp

<B>rmdir URLB>
<B>rm URLB>
<B>delete URLB> deletes a remote resource

   dave> open
   dave> delete index.html
   dave> rmdir ./dir1
   dave> delete /dav_dir/dir2/
   dave> delete /dav_dir/*.html

This command recursively deletes directories. BE CAREFUL :)

This command supported wildcards (globbing). See get.

Aliases: rm, rmdir

<B>edit URLB> edits the contents of a remote file

   dave> open
   dave> edit index.html

Edit is equivalent to the following sequence of commands:

   LOCK index.html (if allowed)
   GET index.html /tmp/dave.perldav.421341234124
   sh $EDITOR /tmp/dave.perldav.421341234124
   PUT index.html (if modified)
   UNLOCK index.html (if locked)

Where $EDITOR is determined from the environment variables DAV_EDITOR or EDITOR.

If DAV_EDITOR is set, it will use that, otherwise it will use EDITOR. If neither variables are set, then vi will be used.


The lock only lasts for 10 hours.

You cannot edit a directory (collection).

The temporary save directory is editable by editing dave and changing TMP_DIR

<B>get URL [FILE]B> downloads the file or directory at URL

If FILE is not specified it will be saved to your current working directory using the same name as the remote name.

  dave> open

Recursively get remote my_dir/ to .

  dave> get my_dir/

Recursively get remote my_dir/ to /tmp/my_dir/

  dave> get my_dir /tmp

Get remote my_dir/index.html to /tmp/index.html

  dave> get /dav_dir/my_dir/index.html /tmp

Get remote index.html to /tmp/index1.html

  dave> get index.html /tmp/index1.html

Use globs and save to /tmp

  dave> get index* /tmp                   # Gets index*.html, index*.txt, etc.
  dave> get index*.html /tmp/index1.html  # Gets index*.html
  dave> get index[12].htm?                # Gets file1 and file2, .htm and .html

<B>? [CMD]B>
<B>h [CMD]B>
<B>help [CMD]B> prints list of commands or help for CMD

  dave> ?

  dave> help get

Aliases: ?, h

<B>lcd [DIR]B> changes local directory

  dave> lcd /tmp

<B>lls [DIR]B> lists local directory contents

  dave> lcd /tmp
  dave> lls
  dave> lls /home

This command simply execs the local ls command and is equivalent to !ls

<B>dir [URL]B>
<B>ls [URL]B> lists remote directory contents or file props

  dave> ls
  Listing of
                  ./          Aug 29 02:26  <dir>
     mtx_0.04.tar.gz   52640  Aug 11 11:45
          index.html    4580  Aug 11 11:45
      index0.04.html    4936  Nov 11  2000
              mydir/          Aug 19 21:14  <dir>,<locked>

  dave> ls index.html
  Content-type: text/html
  Creation date: Sun Aug 12 21:58:02 2001
  Last modified:
  Size: 4580 bytes
  Locks supported: write/exclusive write/shared

Use propfind to get a similar printout of a collection (directory).

Aliases: dir

<B>lock [URL [TIMEOUT] [DEPTH]]B> locks a resource

Without a URL you will lock the current remote collection.

TIMEOUT can be any of the following formats:
30s 30 seconds from now
10m ten minutes from now
1h one hour from now
1d tomorrow
3M in three months
10y in ten years time
2000-02-31 00:40:33

Default is an infinite timeout

See perldoc HTTP::DAV::Resource for more information about timeouts.

DEPTH can be either 0 or infinity (default)

Seeting the lock Scope and Type is not currently implemented. Let me know if you need it as it shouldn’t be too much effort.

<B>mkdir URLB>
<B>mkcol URLB> make a remote collection (directory)

  dave> open
  dave> mkcol new_dir
  dave> mkdir /dav_dir/new_dir

Aliases: mkdir

<B>move SOURCE_URL DEST_URLB> moves a remote resource to another

  dave> open

Move dir1/ to dav2/

  dave> move dir1 dav2

Move file dir2/file.txt to ../file.txt

  dave> cd dir2
  dave> move file.txt ..

Move file.txt to dav2/new_file.txt

  dave> move file.txt dav2/new_file.txt

Aliases: mv

<B>open URLB> connects to the WebDAV-enabled server at URL

   dave> open

Note that if authorization details are required you will be prompted for them.

https and Digest authorization are not currently supported. Please let me know if you need it.

<B>options [URL]B> show the HTTP methods allowed for a URL

   dave> options index.html

Note that Microsoft’s IIS does not support LOCK on collections (directories). Nor does it support PROPPATCH.

<B>propfind [URL]B> show the properties of a resource

  dave> propfind test
  Content-type: httpd/unix-directory
  Creation date: Wed Aug 29 00:36:42 2001
  Last modified:
  Size:  bytes
  Locks supported: write/exclusive write/shared

Using ls will get you the same printout if you ls a file. But ls’ing a collection will show you the collections contents.

<B>put FILE [URL]B> uploads a local file or directory to URL or the currently opened location.

If URL is an existing collection then the dir/file will be copied INTO that collection.

  dave> open

Recursively put local my_dir/ to

  dave> put my_dir/

Put local index.html to

  dave> put /tmp/index.html index1.html

Put * to remote directory

  dave> put *

Put index[12].htm? to remote directory /dav_dir (/dav_dir must exist)

  dave> put index[12].htm? /dav_dir

Put index[1234].htm? to remote directory /dav_dir (/dav_dir must exist)

  dave> put index[1-4].htm? /dav_dir

Glob types supported are, * (matches any characters), ? (matches any one character), [...] (matches any characters in the set ...).

<B>pwdB> prints the currently opened URL (working directory)

 dave> open
 dave> cd new_dir/
 dave> pwd

<B>quitB> exits dave

Note that dave does not unlock any locks created during your session.

Aliases: q, quit

<B>set URL PROPERTY VALUE [NAMESPACE]B> sets a custom property on a resource

   dave> set file.txt author "Patrick Collins"
   dave> set file.txt author "Patrick Collins" "mynamespace"

The NAMESPACE by default is DAV:.

<B>shB> executes a local command (alias !)

   dave> sh cat localfile
   dave> !gzip localfile.gz
   dave> ! "cat localfile | less"

Aliases: !

<B>showlocksB> show my locks on a resource

Shows any locked resources that you’ve locked in this session.

See propfind if you’d like to see anyone’s locks held against a particular resource.

<B>steal [URL]B> remove ANY locks on a resource

Useful if you accidentally forgot to unlock a resource from a previous session or if you think that somebody has forgotten to unlock a resource.

<B>unlock [URL]B> unlocks a resource

Note that unlock will only unlock locks that you have created. Use steal if you want to forcefully unlock somebody else’s lock.

<B>unset URL PROPERTY [NAMESPACE]B> unsets a property from a resource

   dave> unset file.txt author
   dave> unset file.txt author "mynamespace"

The NAMESPACE by default is DAV:.


The perldav mailing list There is a mailing list for PerlDAV and dave for use by Developers and Users. Please see


dave is installed to /usr/local/bin by default when you install the PerlDAV library. See for installation details of PerlDAV.


dave is pure perl so only needs Perl5.003 (or later) and the PerlDAV library to be installed.

I have not ported dave to Windows but would like somebody to have a shot at it.


The PerlDAV perl API at or by typing perldoc HTTP::DAV on your command line.


This module is Copyright (C) 2001 by

    Patrick Collins
    G03 Gloucester Place, Kensington
    Sydney, Australia

    Phone: +61 2 9663 4916

All rights reserved.

You may distribute this module under the terms of either the GNU General Public License or the Artistic License, as specified in the Perl README file.


Cosimo Streppone, <>
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perl v5.20.3 DAVE (1) 2012-01-10

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