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Posted 5 Oct 2002


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Console FTP in C#

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3.78/5 (17 votes)
7 Mar 20043 min read
A basic FTP client in C#.


This is my first attempt at making a useful application using C# and sockets. The program is far from complete but I think it can do the basics for now (upload, download, resume, append). I want to add as many features as possible to this semi-console version so that way, it will be easy to use it in a windows form. I'm the worst when it comes to [GOOD] coding practices/methods so I'll take any advice on how I can make my code more efficient. I wouldn't mind hearing how other people have designed such programs.

Since the initial post, I have been working on and off on the FTP client. Unfortunately, my HD crashed and all my work so I restarted from what I had submitted last October. I'm very happy to see that a few individuals have sampled by code and posted messages. I'm trying to design the class to be modular, so it can easily be used/imported in/to a GUI or Console program, and simple.

If you find any bugs, please post them or tell me. I found a lot as I redid the project. The picture to the left is using CoreFtp in a console and the right is using ExtFtpIa in a form.

-- Update --

I have again rewritten the code, it is much cleaner and uses less lines of code. Unfortunately, I didn't implement a lot of the features I had in my previous two versions because they were unnecessary.


Some of the cool things that it can do so far is queue upload/download commands, resume/append files and establish a data connection using PASV or PORT. I've also commented most of the functions in XML so you can create a comments webpage.

The library is capable of uploading, downloading, resuming and appending and can establish a data connection using PASV or PORT. Text sent by the client, and text received from the server can be captured by using a System.IO.TextWriter object such as Console.Out, or TextWriter.Null (if you don't want to capture the text).

Unfortunately, I don't have full access to a windows FTP server so I was unable to implement WindowsFileNode.Delete. It will throw a NotImplementedException when invoked.

I also included some other classes in the library to send emails (MIME and regular text e-mails), and to retrieve e-mails using a POP3 server.

The Important Classes and Methods


The FtpConnection.Create method is overloaded. One will take a username and password, and the other will login anonymously.

static void Main(string[] args)
    FtpConnection ftpConn = FtpConnection.Create("", 
      21, Console.Out, Console.Out);


ReceiveReply retrieves the reply sent by the server. The method blocks until the reply has been received. What is returned is an and ArpaReply object which has two important properties, a reply code and a reply message.


FileTransfer is an abstract classes that synchronously or asynchronously, uploads or downloads a file to or from a FTP server. The four main classes that derive from FileTransfer are ActiveFileDownload, PassiveFileUpload, ActiveFileUpload, and PassiveFileUpload. When performing an asynchronous file transfer, an IDataTransferAsyncResult is returned which contains a method to asynchronosuly abort a file transfer, and a property, BytesTransferred, that gets the amount of bytes transferred so far.


SendCommand sends a commands to the FTP server. The command to send is selected using the , FtpCommand enumerator. You place the parameters in a string object.

SendCommand(FtpCommand cmd, string param)


DirectoryList is an abstract class to retrieve a directory listing from a FTP server. The classes derived from it are ActiveDirectoryList and PassiveDirectoryList.


FileNode contains an abstract method, FileNode.FromFtpList , that parses the directory listing received from a FTP server to an array of FileNode objects. I made a class for the UNIX and windows file listing. I'm having problems with parsing the listings from some servers (e.x.: doing a directory listing from will generate errors). I didn't create code for WindowsFileNode.Delete because I don't have a windows FTP server to test it on, so for now, it will throw a NotImplemented exception.

Test Code

static void Main(string[] args)
    FtpConnection ftpConn = FtpConnection.Create("", 21, 
      Console.Out, Console.Out);
    //get directory listing
    DirectoryList dirList = new PassiveDirectoryList(ftpConn);
    byte[] data = dirList.GetList(null, Console.Out, Console.Out);
    //parse directory listing
    string list = System.Text.Encoding.ASCII.GetString(data);
    UnixFileNode[] fileNodes = (UnixFileNode[]) new UnixFileNode().FromFtpList(list, 
    //show listing on console
    foreach(UnixFileNode fileNode in fileNodes)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralProgress bar Pin
Niklas Henricson23-Apr-09 2:33
MemberNiklas Henricson23-Apr-09 2:33 
QuestionSITE Command for FTP Pin
Shaghanti Manohar Goud6-Dec-08 13:11
MemberShaghanti Manohar Goud6-Dec-08 13:11 
Questioncan u given this in vs 2005 Pin
aravind.talasila2-Oct-08 21:54
Memberaravind.talasila2-Oct-08 21:54 
GeneralA comfortable FTP class in .NET Pin
Elmue27-Aug-08 12:23
MemberElmue27-Aug-08 12:23 
Jokei need a ftp server and client Pin
k3l0020-Apr-08 0:02
Memberk3l0020-Apr-08 0:02 
Generalwelcome messages Pin
ilovesour7-Dec-04 10:36
sussilovesour7-Dec-04 10:36 
GeneralAnother free, open-source .NET FTP component Pin
h_c_a_andersen11-Nov-04 9:11
Memberh_c_a_andersen11-Nov-04 9:11 
QuestionHow to use your code? Pin
simonsaysmorphosis21-Sep-04 13:32
Membersimonsaysmorphosis21-Sep-04 13:32 
Generalupload problem Pin
Soshell17-Aug-04 5:57
MemberSoshell17-Aug-04 5:57 
GeneralRe: upload problem Pin
Hasani17-Aug-04 14:30
MemberHasani17-Aug-04 14:30 
Generalupload file help Pin
jrmcdona1-Jul-04 13:43
Memberjrmcdona1-Jul-04 13:43 
GeneralRe: upload file help Pin
Hasani21-Jul-04 1:44
MemberHasani21-Jul-04 1:44 
Generaltypo? hehe Pin
Brian Mc27-Apr-04 2:59
MemberBrian Mc27-Apr-04 2:59 
QuestionHow about support other languages? Pin
Member 33226620-Mar-04 13:07
MemberMember 33226620-Mar-04 13:07 
AnswerRe: How about support other languages? Pin
Member 33226621-Mar-04 4:35
MemberMember 33226621-Mar-04 4:35 
Generalrandom update Pin
Hasani28-May-03 13:30
MemberHasani28-May-03 13:30 
GeneralGreat but what about a simple example Pin
nsimeonov28-May-03 2:31
Membernsimeonov28-May-03 2:31 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani28-May-03 13:19
MemberHasani28-May-03 13:19 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
nsimeonov30-May-03 4:27
Membernsimeonov30-May-03 4:27 
Exactly. This should be part of the article... Additionally I had some problems and had to change a bit of your code so I can connect to an MS FTP server on the same machine. (Curiously but when you send the PWD command it was returning: "226 ABOR command successful.\r\n230 User anonymous logged in.\r\n" .. no joke. At least this is what windows 2003 server does. I could give you a detailed log file. Finally it worked but I had to change a few bits of the code (and yes, it perfectly works with, etc. a small change was neccessary for RhinoSoft's Serv-U...

Additionally you could sepearate the Core and Extended functions - one may need just to logon somewhere, download or upload a file and disconnect from the server.

I just wanted to help a bit to improve it and send you some feedback and my thoughts.

Best Regards,
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani31-May-03 9:01
MemberHasani31-May-03 9:01 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
s2ksim25-Mar-04 11:30
Members2ksim25-Mar-04 11:30 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani25-Mar-04 14:37
MemberHasani25-Mar-04 14:37 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
s2ksim26-Mar-04 3:13
Members2ksim26-Mar-04 3:13 
GeneralRe: Great but what about a simple example Pin
Hasani26-Mar-04 20:12
MemberHasani26-Mar-04 20:12 
Generalgui raises exception Pin
Tadeusz Dracz23-May-03 22:24
professionalTadeusz Dracz23-May-03 22:24 

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