Fortune Server Example

Demonstrates how to create a server for a network service.

This example is intended to be run alongside the Fortune Client example or the Blocking Fortune Client Example .


It uses QTcpServer to accept incoming TCP connections, and a simple QDataStream based data transfer protocol to write a fortune to the connecting client (from the Fortune Client example), before closing the connection.

class Server(QDialog):

# public
    Server = explicit(QWidget parent = None)
slots: = private()
    def sendFortune():
# private
    def initServer():
    statusLabel = None()
    tcpServer = None()
fortunes = QList()

The server is implemented using a simple class with only one slot, for handling incoming connections.

tcpServer = QTcpServer(self)
if (not tcpServer.listen()) {
    QMessageBox.critical(self, tr("Fortune Server"),
                          tr("Unable to start the server: %1.")

ipAddress = QString()
ipAddressesList = QNetworkInterface.allAddresses()
# use the first non-localhost IPv4 address
for i in range(0, ipAddressesList.size()):
    if ( != QHostAddress.LocalHost and {
        ipAddress =

# if we did not find one, use IPv4 localhost
if (ipAddress.isEmpty())
    ipAddress = QHostAddress(QHostAddress.LocalHost).toString()
statusLabel.setText(tr("The server is running on\n\nIP: %1\nport: %2\n\n"
                        "Run the Fortune Client example now.")

In its constructor, our Server object calls listen() to set up a QTcpServer to listen on all addresses, on an arbitrary port. In then displays the port QTcpServer picked in a label, so that user knows which port the fortune client should connect to.

fortunes << tr("You've been leading a dog's life. Stay off the furniture.")
         << tr("You've got to think about tomorrow.")
         << tr("You will be surprised by a loud noise.")
         << tr("You will feel hungry again in another hour.")
         << tr("You might have mail.")
         << tr("You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.")
         << tr("Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.")

Our server generates a list of random fortunes that it can send to connecting clients.

connect(tcpServer, QTcpServer.newConnection, self, Server.sendFortune)

When a client connects to our server, QTcpServer will emit newConnection() . In turn, this will invoke our sendFortune() slot:

def sendFortune(self):

    block = QByteArray()
    out = QDataStream(block, QIODevice.WriteOnly)
    out << fortunes[]

The purpose of this slot is to select a random line from our list of fortunes, encode it into a QByteArray using QDataStream , and then write it to the connecting socket. This is a common way to transfer binary data using QTcpSocket . First we create a QByteArray and a QDataStream object, passing the bytearray to QDataStream ‘s constructor. We then explicitly set the protocol version of QDataStream to Qt_4_0 to ensure that we can communicate with clients from future versions of Qt (see setVersion() ). We continue by streaming in a random fortune.

clientConnection = tcpServer.nextPendingConnection()
connect(clientConnection, QAbstractSocket.disconnected,
        clientConnection, QObject.deleteLater)

We then call nextPendingConnection() , which returns the QTcpSocket representing the server side of the connection. By connecting disconnected() to deleteLater() , we ensure that the socket will be deleted after disconnecting.


The encoded fortune is written using write() , and we finally call disconnectFromHost() , which will close the connection after QTcpSocket has finished writing the fortune to the network. Because QTcpSocket works asynchronously, the data will be written after this function returns, and control goes back to Qt’s event loop. The socket will then close, which in turn will cause deleteLater() to delete it.

Example project @