A stateless server
is a server
that treats each request
as an independent transaction
that is unrelated to any previous request.
This simplifies the server
design because it does not need to dynamically allocate storage to deal with conversations in progress or worry about freeing it if a client dies in mid-transaction.
A disadvantage is that it may be necessary to include more information in each request and this extra information will need to be interpreted by the server each time.
An example of a stateless server is a World Wide Web
server. With the exception of [cookie|cookies
], these take in requests (URLs
) which completely specify the required document and do not require any context or memory of previous requests.
Contrast this with a traditional FTP server which conducts an interactive session with the user. A request to the server for a file can assume that the user has been authenticated and that the current directory and file transfer mode have been set.
The [(protocol)|Gopher protocol] and  are both designed to be stateless.