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A Complete FTP Server

, 30 May 2005
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This article presents a fully functional implementation of a FTP server.

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This article presents a fully functional implementation of a FTP server. It can handle multiple connections at the same time (multi threaded) and has most of the features you would find in other commercial/shareware FTP servers. The server handles all basic FTP commands and offers easy user account management.

This article describes the most important classes of the application:


This class is in fact the FTP server, and controls all other classes needed for the server to work. Although CFTPServer is part of a dialog based application, it does not rely on a User Interface and can easily be implemented in a service or console application as well.

  • BOOL Start()

    Activates the FTP server. It opens a listening socket (port 21) to accept connections.

  • void Stop()

    Deactivates the server and disconnects all connected clients by terminating the running threads.

  • BOOL IsActive()

    Is FTP server active?

  • void SetMaxUsers(int nValue)

    Set maximum number of users.

  • void SetPort(int nValue)

    Set listening port for new connections.

  • void SetTimeout(int nValue)

    Set connection timeout (in ms). When a client does not send any commands for nValue ms, the server will close the connection.

  • void SetWelcomeMessage(LPCTSTR lpszText)

    Set the text that will be displayed when the client logs on.

  • void Initialize(CFTPEventSink *pEventSink)

    Set the event sink. The event sink will be the window (or any class) that receives the events generated by the FTP server. See CFTPEventSink description for more info.


To be able to 'send' events from the CFTPServer class to the main application, I used multiple inheritance and virtual functions. The CFTPEventSink is just a helper class that contains nothing else than virtual functions, when you derive your class from CFTPEventSink these virtual functions become a kind of events. The class CFTPServer has a reference to this class and calls the virtual functions when it needs to notify the application.

The following 'events' are available:

  • void OnFTPUserConnected(DWORD nThreadID, LPCTSTR lpszUser, LPCSTR lpszAddress);

    A client has successfully connected.

  • void OnFTPUserDisconnected(DWORD nThreadID, LPCTSTR lpszUser);

    A client has disconnected.

  • void OnFTPStatusChange(int nType, LPCTSTR lpszText);

    FTP server status has changed (file downloaded/uploaded).

  • void OnFTPReceivedBytesChange(int nBytes);

    The number of received bytes has changed.

  • void OnFTPSentBytesChange(int nBytes);

    The number of sent bytes received has changed.

  • void OnFTPStatisticChange(int nType, int nValue);

    A statistic has changed, for example the number of downloaded or uploaded files.

Other helper classes:


The class CUserManager handles all user and file related stuff. It checks the connected users for their access rights and converts remote to local paths. CUserManager uses serializing for storing and loading the user settings.


This socket is part of CFTPServer and accepts incoming connections. When a clients connects to the server, CListenSocket accepts the connection and creates a new thread (CConnectThread) that will take care of all further communication between the client and the server. After the thread has been created, CListenSocket will return to its waiting state.


This thread will handle all communication between the client and the server using CConnectSocket.


This socket class will process all incoming FTP commands and send back the response to the client.


When data needs to be send or received, a CDataSocket will be created by CConnectSocket. The CDataSocket class will transfer this data (such as directory listings and files) on a separate port.

All the other classes are just UI related and are only included to make it look a little bit fancier.

CFTPServer Usage:

To use the class in your application, you need to do the following:

  1. Add the class to your application.
  2. Derive your main class from CFTPEventSink.
  3. Override the virtual functions of CFTPEventSink; these are the events that come from the server.
  4. Initialize the eventsink.
  5. Start the server.
class CMyDlg : public CDialog, CFTPEventSink

    virtual void OnFTPUserConnected(DWORD nThreadID, 
                 LPCTSTR lpszUser, LPCSTR lpszAddress);
    virtual void OnFTPUserDisconnected(DWORD nThreadID, LPCTSTR lpszUser);
    virtual void OnFTPStatusChange(int nType, LPCTSTR lpszText);
    virtual void OnFTPReceivedBytesChange(int nBytes);
    virtual void OnFTPSentBytesChange(int nBytes);
    virtual void OnFTPStatisticChange(int nType, int nValue);


BOOL CMyDlg::OnInitDialog()

    // initialize event sink
    // set maximum users to 10
    // accept new connections on port 21
    // activate server

    return TRUE;

Contacting the Author

For any updates to this article, check my site.


Inspired by FileZilla Server.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Pablo van der Meer
Web Developer
Netherlands Netherlands
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

Question* PinmemberАлексей115324-Jun-14 1:22 
GeneralAsking a Guarantee of Permission For Us From Developer PinmemberViolet_Lotus21-Apr-12 8:36 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberdarvenLee25-Aug-10 22:57 
GeneralHave a doubt in pasv command PinmemberSabari Girishwar Rao10-Oct-09 8:07 
GeneralTrying to understand what the dummy window for message routing is trying to do Pinmembertom2349928-Feb-09 7:55 
GeneralA question about STOR command PinmemberJason( J.Zhang)10-Dec-08 22:13 
Questionhow to find ftp address for my server PinmemberNprabahar23-Sep-08 8:39 
AnswerRe: how to find ftp address for my server Pinmembertom234998-Mar-09 18:00 
GeneralConverting application to object Pinmembermcunha982-Jul-08 6:01 
QuestionBug... 1064960 bytes and then it blocks.... PinmemberG_T29-May-08 7:02 

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