I'm trying to read a file from micro SD on an ESP32-cam board and upload to an FTP server, but when I try to read data from the opened file to an unsigned char, it gives me the following error:

Guru Meditation Error: Core  1 panic'ed (StoreProhibited). Exception was unhandled.
Core 1 register dump:
PC      : 0x4008c674  PS      : 0x00060030  A0      : 0x800ed1c7  A1      : 0x3ffb1e20  
A2      : 0x00000000  A3      : 0x3ffd7c78  A4      : 0x00000080  A5      : 0x00000000  
A6      : 0x474e5089  A7      : 0x0a1a0a0d  A8      : 0x00000000  A9      : 0x3ffb1df0  
A10     : 0x00000080  A11     : 0x3ffb66e4  A12     : 0x3ffd7c78  A13     : 0x00000080  
A14     : 0x00002494  A15     : 0xff000000  SAR     : 0x00000018  EXCCAUSE: 0x0000001d  
EXCVADDR: 0x00000000  LBEG    : 0x4008c670  LEND    : 0x4008c68c  LCOUNT  : 0x00000007  

ELF file SHA256: 0000000000000000

Backtrace: 0x4008c674:0x3ffb1e20 0x400ed1c4:0x3ffb1e30 0x400ed245:0x3ffb1e60 0x400d06e7:0x3ffb1e80 0x400d084f:0x3ffb1f20 0x400d2b5a:0x3ffb1fb0 0x4008efde:0x3ffb1fd0


The code is the following:

// Wifi and FTP Client Lib
#include <WiFi.h>
#include <WiFiClient.h> 
#include "ESP32_FTPClient.h"

// MicroSD
#include "driver/sdmmc_host.h"
#include "driver/sdmmc_defs.h"
#include "sdmmc_cmd.h"
#include "esp_vfs_fat.h"

// FTP Server credentials
char ftp_server[] = "";
char ftp_user[]   = "username";
char ftp_pass[]   = "password";

// wifi access
const char* ssid = "ssid";
const char* password = "psk";

// file to be read and uploaded
FILE *fileUpload = NULL;

// ftp client object
ESP32_FTPClient ftp (ftp_server, ftp_user, ftp_pass);

// micro sd initialization
static esp_err_t init_sdcard()
  esp_err_t ret = ESP_FAIL;
  sdmmc_host_t host = SDMMC_HOST_DEFAULT();
  sdmmc_slot_config_t slot_config = SDMMC_SLOT_CONFIG_DEFAULT();
  esp_vfs_fat_sdmmc_mount_config_t mount_config = {
    .format_if_mount_failed = false,
    .max_files = 10,
  sdmmc_card_t *card;
  ret = esp_vfs_fat_sdmmc_mount("/sdcard", &host, &slot_config, &mount_config, &card);

void FTP_upload( void );
void FTP_upload()

  // initialize file name
  char fileName[100];
  sprintf(fileName, "/sdcard/img.png");
  fileUpload = fopen(fileName, "r+");
  // notify reading of the file
  Serial.print("Reading file: ");
  if (fileUpload == NULL) 
    Serial.println("Cannot open file");

  // retrieve file size
  fseek(fileUpload, 0, SEEK_END);
  long int size = ftell(fileUpload);

  // print file size to serial
  Serial.print("File size: ");
  // Reading data to array of unsigned chars
  fileUpload = fopen(fileName, "r+");
  unsigned char * in PROGMEM = (unsigned char *) malloc(size);
  // display allocated memory
  Serial.print("Allocated memory: ");

  // read file to allocated memory
  int bytes_read = fread(in, sizeof(unsigned char), size, fileUpload); // <------- THIS ROW RISES THE ERROR
// close file

  // Open FTP connection
  Serial.println("Starting FTP upload...");
  //Create a file and write the image data to it;
  ftp.InitFile("Type I");

  // change remote directory

  // specify remote file name
  String strNome = "img.png";

  // convert String to char
  const char *f_name = strNome.c_str();
  // create a new file with the given name inside the remote directory
  ftp.NewFile( f_name );

  // write data read above from local file to remote file
  ftp.WriteData(in, sizeof(in));

  // close remote file

  // notify completed upload
  Serial.println("File uploaded successfully");
  // wait


void setup() {

  // begin serial communication

  // initialize micro sd
  esp_err_t errSD = init_sdcard();
  if (errSD != ESP_OK) {
    Serial.printf("Cannot initialize SD. Error code: 0x%x", errSD);

  // begin wifi connection
  WiFi.begin(ssid, password);

  // wait for the connection to be estabilished
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) {

  // notify successful connection
  Serial.println("WiFi connected");

  // show the assigned IP
  Serial.print("IP: ");

  // call the FTP upload procedure

void loop() {
  // empty

How can I solve this? Thank you

  • This line doesn't make sense to me: unsigned char * in PROGMEM = (unsigned char *) malloc(size); Either it's in PROGMEM, or it's on the heap. It can't be both. [I don't think that's your problem though, since PROGMEM doesn't exist on the ESP32 ASFAIK] – PMF Apr 29 at 10:49
  • Heh, that's all we need: progmalloc(). Or is it malloc_P() ? =) I haven't checked the ESP32, but usually non-AVR cores have dummy F(), PSTR(), PROGMEM, pgm_read_whatever, etc that just put things the only address space they have. So there's kind of a notion of having them in the sense that they don't cause errors for unrecognized identifiers. – timemage Apr 29 at 11:15
  • @timemage That's exactly what I think, yes. In the program above, it may not do anything, but it's just wrong. The data needs to be read to the normal RAM. – PMF Apr 29 at 11:25
  • @PMF, ah, that makes sense. I'd had a different reading of it before. – timemage Apr 29 at 11:28
  • @PMF yes sorry, that was an error that I missed, indeed. Removing PROGMEM didn't change anything though. @timemage what do you mean? I successfully used malloc in another code, so I can confirm it gets recognized by the ESP32 core. – user2959923 Apr 29 at 11:43

Solved, I changed the method a little.

In a loop, I read a portion of the file and write it to the opened FTP remote file, then I close both at the end of the cycle

// open FTP connection

// open local file
fileUpload = fopen("/sdcard/img.png", "r+");

// initialize file type
ftp.InitFile("Type I");

// change remote directory

// define remote file name
String strName = "img.png";

// convert to char
const char *f_name = strName.c_str();

// create remote file with given name
ftp.NewFile( f_name );

// read all file in a loop
unsigned char buff[64];
    // read a portion of the file
    fread(buff, sizeof(char), sizeof(buff), fileUpload);

    // write that portion to the remote file
    ftp.WriteData(buff, sizeof(buff));

// close both the local and the remote file
  • It would be good to get a more specific explanation of the cause. One thing you did was move away from malloc() which is a good idea. In the process it seems you fixed a memory leak that was caused by not having a corresponding call to free(). You also got rid of ftp.WriteData(in, sizeof(in));, which was writing only the first 4 four bytes of what in points to, because sizeof (in) is the sizeof of the pointer, not the size of the allocated block. – timemage Apr 29 at 13:55
  • For what remains, there's the possibility of fopen failing, which you should probably check before trying to use fileUpload. When it comes to feof and fread it's important to know that feof doesn't tell you when you're at the end of the file. It tells you when you tried to read past the end of the file. So to make the loop correct, you'd need to first attempt an fread, then check to see if it failed because of an EOF condition, and then either break the loop or write the data. – timemage Apr 29 at 13:59
  • @timemage The reason for this solution is that the row fread(in, sizeof(unsigned char), size, fileUpload); tries to read size elements (size is the full size of the file) and tries to put those elements in the in char, but in char has only 4 bytes, regardless the malloc function. – user2959923 Apr 29 at 14:07
  • If you show up on freenode sometime, I'd go into what I'm thinking about that. For here, I'll just say I think you may need to keep looking at it a bit longer. – timemage Apr 29 at 14:22

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