How do unix file lenghts work?

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http://www.unix.com – Hello, Can someone tell me how unix works out file lenghts please? If I'm ftp'ing a file from a mvs mainframe to a unix box will the file be replicated line by line? I'm looking at the file on the unix box and it's telling me the recl is almost 4000 but it's not that on the mvs side. Should a txt file on unix be a fixed length? Any help appreciated as usual Thanks G (HowTos)