Send an image over a network using Qt
A question that pops up every now and again and this time I'll document my attempt to do this. To do this I use the Qt framework. More specifically, I used QtcpSocket for the connection.
In this example program I will use a client-server approach to this problem. I will build a server that accepts one or more connections and can receive images. I will also build a client that can connect to the server and send an image.
The Client-Server architecture
Most of the code that set up the actuall connection have been borrowed from the Simple Chat program. In this example a client-server system is build. What I removed from this example is all the GUI interfacing and the functions that receive and send the messages. The first is because I do not need a GUI here as I will use it as a lib, and the latter is because I do not need to send and receive QString objects (and more important, I do not have to forward them to all other connected clients).
How to send an image
Here I will actually cover how to send an image. In Qt this is rather easy. For the sake of structure, I will first describe the client-side process and then the server-side process.
Sending the image (Client-side process)
What I need to do is to convert the image to a byte-array and then send this byte-array over the network. As we are using the Qt framework, I assume that the image is already a QImage object and the socket has been set-up by following the Simple chat example. Then sending the image is rather easy: // To load a QImage //QImage image; // See the documentation on how to use QImage objects //image.load("test.png", "PNG"); // To set-up the socket //socket->connectToHost(address, port, QIODevice::WriteOnly) QByteArray ba; // Construct a QByteArray object QBuffer buffer(&ba); // Construct a QBuffer object using the QbyteArray image.save(&buffer, "PNG"); // Save the QImage data into the QBuffer socket->write(ba); // Send the QBuffer (QbyteArray) over a socket
And that is it! Yes, there are some beautifications possible, but this is the trick!
Receiving the image (Server-side process)
Here I need to convert the incoming stream back into an image. This is basically as easy as sending it, but I will anyway show it. Also here I assume that there is a listening socket available, but I also assume that the buffer. This time no example code on that, as it takes more lines to describe.
// Available are: //QTcpSocket* socket; //QBuffer* buffer = buffers.value(socket); qint64 bytes = buffer->write(socket->readAll()); // Read all the received bytes buffer->seek(buffer->pos() - bytes); // go back as many bytes as we just wrote so that it can be read QImage image; // Construct a new QImage image.loadFromData(buffer->buffer()); // Load the image from the receive buffer if (image.isNull()) // Check if the image was indeed received qDebug("The image is null. Something failed."); // If it did not fail, the image is now in the QImage object again
It could hardly be simpler, isn't it?
Extra: Send the image name as well
If you want the client-side to give a name to this image then this is perfectly possible by using some interesting options from the QImage object. To attach the image name as a tag to the image use:
//QImage image has already been constructed image.setText("name", name);
On the receiving end we can retrieve this tag information easily using:
//QImage image has already been constructed image.text("name")
This leaves us with a lot of interesting possibilities... so be sure you check those out as well!
Well, I took also the liberty to put this in code so you can download it, test it, and learn from it. You can find the source code here.
If you have any comments or questions on the code then leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. If you make some changes in the code then I am happy to receive those changes as well (as diff or as new zip file).
I hope this was helpful for you!