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Posted 27 Mar 2003

FTP client library for C#

, 27 Mar 2003
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FTP client library for C#, including asynchronous operations.


Finding a fully working, lightweight FTP client, that had no GUI, was free, and came with source code, was difficult. This API is based on a work, Jaimon Mathew had done, and I have added some methods, cleaned up the code, debugged it and added some error handling, logging, debugging etc.

It is easy to use. Here is a code example:

FtpClient ftp = new FtpClient(FtpServer,FtpUserName,FtpPassword);

Not so difficult now, is it? I am using it in my WebCamService list on this site, so if you want to see it in action, go here.

I started out wrapping fully the WinInet API, but it was such a labourous task that it made sense just to do the FTP. Since Microsoft has great support for HTTP, I could skip that, and later work on SMTP.


  • Upload
  • Recursive upload
  • Download
  • Resume
  • Delete
  • Rename
  • Create directory
  • Asynchronous operation


  • Not fully tested
  • No real error handling
  • No download recourse yet
  • Rename will overwrite, if the target already exists

Asynchronous operation

A little more advanced, the asynchronous operation is used when you need the job, to fork while your code continues over the method. All asynchronous methods start with Begin.

Using it is simple. You need a couple of things, an AsyncCallback object and a method which it handles.

private FtpClient ftp = null;

private void UploadPicture(string imagePath)
    string FtpServer = ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings["FtpServer"];
    string FtpUserName = ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings["FtpUserName"];
    string FtpPassword = ConfigurationSettings.AppSettings["FtpPassword"];

    AsyncCallback callback = new AsyncCallback(CloseConnection);

    ftp = new FtpClient(FtpServer,FtpUserName,FtpPassword);
    ftp.BeginUpload(imagePath, callback);

private void CloseConnection(IAsyncResult result)

    if ( ftp != null ) ftp.Close();
        ftp = null;

When the upload finishes or throws an exception, the CloseConnection method will be called.


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

Dan Glass
Australia Australia

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Don't loose your time... Pin
nietzsche4413-Sep-07 22:19
membernietzsche4413-Sep-07 22:19 
GeneralRe: Don't loose your time... Pin
jay_t5516-Jan-10 19:43
memberjay_t5516-Jan-10 19:43 
Generalerror,while ftp.GetFileList(); Pin
lovemory23-Aug-05 17:50
memberlovemory23-Aug-05 17:50 
AnswerRe: error,while ftp.GetFileList(); Pin
Sprotty11-Oct-05 0:13
memberSprotty11-Oct-05 0:13 
GeneralRe: error,while ftp.GetFileList(); Pin
Patrice Dargenton27-Jun-06 0:40
memberPatrice Dargenton27-Jun-06 0:40 
GeneralRe: error,while ftp.GetFileList(); Pin
tmck7-Mar-07 5:25
membertmck7-Mar-07 5:25 
GeneralRe: error,while ftp.GetFileList(); Pin
ti_hugo31-May-07 1:31
memberti_hugo31-May-07 1:31 
GeneralRe: error,while ftp.GetFileList(); Pin
Patrick Mortara20-Nov-07 6:25
memberPatrick Mortara20-Nov-07 6:25 
The problem lies in the while loop that receives the file list from the server:

while( timeout > DateTime.Now )
int bytes = cSocket.Receive(buffer, buffer.Length, 0);
this.message += ASCII.GetString(buffer, 0, bytes);

if ( bytes < this.buffer.Length ) break;

It exits whenever the number of received bytes is less than the
size of the buffer. Change the 'break' line to:

if ( bytes == 0 ) break;

and you should see the whole directory listing.

I'm no expert for sockets and this stuff too, this is just a hack that worked
for me. I think this whole loop (and probably all similar loops within this class)
should be rewritten. (The timeout condition seems to be nonsense since the
socket is blocking.)
GeneralProxy Support for FTP client Pin
drkalucard3-May-05 23:40
memberdrkalucard3-May-05 23:40 
GeneralAnother free, open-source .NET FTP component Pin
Hans Andersen11-Nov-04 11:45
sussHans Andersen11-Nov-04 11:45 
QuestionHave any body here actualy looked at the code? Pin
Arnt1-Nov-04 12:31
memberArnt1-Nov-04 12:31 
GeneralNot working Pin
agolovan29-Sep-04 14:50
memberagolovan29-Sep-04 14:50 
GeneralRe: Not working Pin
mohit bhat18-Nov-04 3:22
membermohit bhat18-Nov-04 3:22 
GeneralRe: Not working Pin
Anonymous24-Jan-05 19:06
sussAnonymous24-Jan-05 19:06 
GeneralIt doesn't work with the IIS FTP server if a welcome message is set Pin
JustinCouto9-Jun-04 6:15
memberJustinCouto9-Jun-04 6:15 
GeneralRe: It doesn't work with the IIS FTP server if a welcome message is set Pin
Jose Lopes da Cruz25-Aug-04 5:34
memberJose Lopes da Cruz25-Aug-04 5:34 
GeneralRe: It doesn't work with the IIS FTP server if a welcome message is set Pin
GoToSleep22-Sep-05 5:41
memberGoToSleep22-Sep-05 5:41 
QuestionNo File Uploading??? Pin
_stormbringer_20-May-04 10:15
suss_stormbringer_20-May-04 10:15 
Generalasync Pin
toni113-May-04 4:13
membertoni113-May-04 4:13 
GeneralBetter version. Pin
Dan Glass10-May-04 11:55
memberDan Glass10-May-04 11:55 
GeneralRe: Better version. Pin
Anonymous11-May-04 5:32
sussAnonymous11-May-04 5:32 
GeneralRe: Better version. Pin
Anonymous11-May-04 6:14
sussAnonymous11-May-04 6:14 
GeneralRe: Better version. Pin
Anonymous11-Oct-04 22:11
sussAnonymous11-Oct-04 22:11 
GeneralI keep getting 530 Login or Password incorrect Pin
Anonymous10-May-04 11:46
sussAnonymous10-May-04 11:46 
GeneralThanks a ton. Pin
supertedusa21-Apr-04 8:59
membersupertedusa21-Apr-04 8:59 

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