WebDAV Clients

WebDAV is described by RFC 4918: HTTP Extensions for Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV).

WebDAV in Microsoft Windows

This example of using WebDAV will show using the tools at “https://live.sysinternals.com/Tools”. (The software is also distributed at “https://live.sysinternals.com/” but it seems that the root directory is not publicly WebDAV-enabled.)

C:\> dir \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\readme.txt
The system cannot find the path specified.

C:\> net start WebClient
The WebClient service is starting.
The WebClient service was started successfully.

C:\> dir \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\readme.txt
 Volume in drive \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\ has no label.

 Directory of \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\

12/07/2011  03:07 AM             7,903 readme.txt
              1 File(s)          7,903 bytes
              0 Dir(s)  476,697,923,584 bytes free

C:\> C:\> Explorer \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\

C:\> net use S: \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\
System error 53 has occurred.

The network path was not found.

C:\> pushd \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\

Z:\> popd

C:\> subst T: \\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\
C:\> subst

T:\: => UNC\live.sysinternals.com\Tools\

C:\> subst T: /D

As this example shows, the WebDAV site is mostly treated similar to a local directory. Commands can also be run directory on a command line that starts with a couple of backslashes, and the WebDAV locations can be mounted. It seems odd that net use doesn't work nicely, while other programs do (including subst and pushd). The pushd command will automatically choose the last available drive letter. (So if you stack multiple directories, you could have a Y: instead of a Z:.)

(Although the textual output of the above example didn't show this, the explorer and subst commands worked as expected, and pushd also enabled access to the remote folder.