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PHP – FTP filename encoding issue

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


I will be brief. My FTP function returns wrong encoding of filenames

$conn_id = ftp_connect("site.com");
ftp_login($conn_id, "login", "pass");
ftp_pasv($conn_id, true);
$buff = ftp_nlist($conn_id, "./");

->  // result
    array() {
        [0]=> "��.txt"

The file name has Windows-1251 encoding.

I tried to connect to FTP via nodejs but it also returns something creepy — òð.txt.

My desktop client (WinSCP) however works fine with this.

PS: I tried to use utf8_encode – but that’s also not working for me.

How to&Answers:

If the encoding is of you could try to change it using mb_convert_encoding. The code below should output the correct value.

echo mb_convert_encoding($buff[0], "UTF-8");
echo mb_convert_encoding($buff[0], "UTF-8", "windows-1251");

If it doesnt work, you can try to find the right encoding using something like

foreach(mb_list_encodings() as $chr){
  echo mb_convert_encoding($buff[0], 'UTF-8', $chr)." : ".$chr."<br>"; 


First you add content type on your page.

header('Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8');

And then try this, hope it helps

str_replace(array('%82','%94','+'),array('é','ö',' '),urlencode($folder_name));

It’s not the best way, but it works for me, if you url encode a string it changes the awkward characters into e.g. %82… You can then replace these with the HTML codes.


Many (but not all) ftp servers supports UTF-8 pathnames encoding. You can turn this feature on by issuing ‘OPTS UTF8 ON’ command before ftp_nlist call.

ftp_raw('OPTS UTF8 ON');


you can try using iconv function. Hoping it will solve your problem.