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SOCKET(7)                  Linux Programmer's Manual                 SOCKET(7)

       socket - Linux socket interface

       #include <sys/socket.h>

       sockfd = socket(int socket_family, int socket_type, int protocol);

       This  manual  page describes the Linux networking socket layer user interface.  The
       BSD compatible sockets are the uniform interface between the user process  and  the
       network  protocol stacks in the kernel.  The protocol modules are grouped into pro-
       tocol families like AF_INET, AF_IPX, AF_PACKET and socket types like SOCK_STREAM or
       SOCK_DGRAM.  See socket(2) for more information on families and types.

   Socket Layer Functions
       These  functions  are used by the user process to send or receive packets and to do
       other socket operations.  For more information see their respective manual pages.

       socket(2) creates a socket,  connect(2)  connects  a  socket  to  a  remote  socket
       address,  the  bind(2) function binds a socket to a local socket address, listen(2)
       tells the socket that new connections shall be accepted, and accept(2) is  used  to
       get  a  new  socket with a new incoming connection.  socketpair(2) returns two con-
       nected anonymous sockets (only implemented for a few local families like AF_UNIX)

       send(2),  sendto(2),  and  sendmsg(2)  send  data  over  a  socket,  and   recv(2),
       recvfrom(2), recvmsg(2) receive data from a socket.  poll(2) and select(2) wait for
       arriving data or a readiness to send data.  In addition, the  standard  I/O  opera-
       tions  like  write(2), writev(2), sendfile(2), read(2), and readv(2) can be used to
       read and write data.

       getsockname(2) returns the local socket  address  and  getpeername(2)  returns  the
       remote  socket  address.   getsockopt(2)  and  setsockopt(2) are used to set or get
       socket layer or protocol options.  ioctl(2) can be used to set or read  some  other

       close(2)  is  used  to  close  a socket.  shutdown(2) closes parts of a full-duplex
       socket connection.

       Seeking, or calling pread(2) or pwrite(2) with a non-zero position is not supported
       on sockets.

       It  is possible to do non-blocking I/O on sockets by setting the O_NONBLOCK flag on
       a socket file descriptor using fcntl(2).  Then all operations that would block will
       (usually)  return  with EAGAIN (operation should be retried later); connect(2) will
       return EINPROGRESS error.  The user can then wait for various events via poll(2) or

       |                            I/O events                              |
       |Event      | Poll flag | Occurrence                                 |
       |Read       | POLLIN    | New data arrived.                          |
       |Read       | POLLIN    | A connection setup has been completed (for |
       |           |           | connection-oriented sockets)               |
       |Read       | POLLHUP   | A disconnection request has been initiated |
       |           |           | by the other end.                          |
       |Read       | POLLHUP   | A  connection  is broken (only for connec- |
       |           |           | tion-oriented protocols).  When the socket |
       |           |           | is written SIGPIPE is also sent.           |
       |Write      | POLLOUT   | Socket  has  enough  send buffer space for |
       |           |           | writing new data.                          |
       |Read/Write | POLLIN|   | An outgoing connect(2) finished.           |
       |           | POLLOUT   |                                            |
       |Read/Write | POLLERR   | An asynchronous error occurred.            |
       |Read/Write | POLLHUP   | The other end has shut down one direction. |
       |Exception  | POLLPRI   | Urgent data arrived.  SIGURG is sent then. |

       An alternative to poll(2) and select(2) is to let the kernel inform the application
       about events via a SIGIO signal.  For that the O_ASYNC flag must be set on a socket
       file descriptor via fcntl(2) and a valid signal handler for SIGIO must be installed
       via sigaction(2).  See the Signals discussion below.

   Socket Options
       These socket options can be set by using setsockopt(2) and read with  getsockopt(2)
       with the socket level set to SOL_SOCKET for all sockets:

              Returns  a  value  indicating  whether or not this socket has been marked to
              accept connections with listen(2).  The value 0 indicates that this is not a
              listening  socket,  the  value  1 indicates that this is a listening socket.
              Can only be read with getsockopt(2).

              Bind this socket to a particular device like "eth0",  as  specified  in  the
              passed  interface name.  If the name is an empty string or the option length
              is zero, the socket device binding is removed.  The passed option is a vari-
              able-length  null-terminated  interface name string with the maximum size of
              IFNAMSIZ.  If a socket is bound to an interface, only packets received  from
              that  particular interface are processed by the socket.  Note that this only
              works for some socket types, particularly AF_INET sockets.  It is  not  sup-
              ported for packet sockets (use normal bind(8) there).

              Set or get the broadcast flag.  When enabled, datagram sockets receive pack-
              ets sent to a broadcast address and they are allowed to send  packets  to  a
              broadcast address.  This option has no effect on stream-oriented sockets.

              Enable  BSD bug-to-bug compatibility.  This is used by the UDP protocol mod-
              ule in Linux 2.0 and 2.2.  If enabled ICMP errors received for a UDP  socket
              will  not  be passed to the user program.  In later kernel versions, support
              for this option has been phased out: Linux  2.4  silently  ignores  it,  and
              Linux  2.6  generates  a  kernel  warning  (printk()) if a program uses this
              option.  Linux 2.0 also enabled BSD bug-to-bug compatibility options (random
              header  changing,  skipping of the broadcast flag) for raw sockets with this
              option, but that was removed in Linux 2.2.

              Enable socket debugging.  Only allowed for processes with the  CAP_NET_ADMIN
              capability or an effective user ID of 0.

              Get  and  clear  the  pending  socket error.  Only valid as a getsockopt(2).
              Expects an integer.

              Don't send via a gateway, only send to directly connected hosts.   The  same
              effect can be achieved by setting the MSG_DONTROUTE flag on a socket send(2)
              operation.  Expects an integer boolean flag.

              Enable  sending  of  keep-alive  messages  on  connection-oriented  sockets.
              Expects an integer boolean flag.

              Sets or gets the SO_LINGER option.  The argument is a linger structure.

                  struct linger {
                      int l_onoff;    /* linger active */
                      int l_linger;   /* how many seconds to linger for */

              When  enabled,  a  close(2)  or shutdown(2) will not return until all queued
              messages for the socket have been successfully sent or  the  linger  timeout
              has  been  reached.  Otherwise, the call returns immediately and the closing
              is done in the background.  When the socket is closed as part of exit(2), it
              always lingers in the background.

              If  this  option  is  enabled,  out-of-band data is directly placed into the
              receive data stream.  Otherwise out-of-band data is  only  passed  when  the
              MSG_OOB flag is set during receiving.

              Enable or disable the receiving of the SCM_CREDENTIALS control message.  For
              more information see unix(7).

              Return the credentials of the foreign  process  connected  to  this  socket.
              This  is  only  possible  for  connected  AF_UNIX stream sockets and AF_UNIX
              stream and datagram socket pairs created using socketpair(2);  see  unix(7).
              The  returned  credentials  are those that were in effect at the time of the
              call to connect(2) or socketpair(2).  Argument is a ucred  structure.   Only
              valid as a getsockopt(2).

              Set the protocol-defined priority for all packets to be sent on this socket.
              Linux uses this value to order the networking queues: packets with a  higher
              priority  may  be  processed first depending on the selected device queueing
              discipline.  For ip(7), this also sets the IP  type-of-service  (TOS)  field
              for  outgoing packets.  Setting a priority outside the range 0 to 6 requires
              the CAP_NET_ADMIN capability.

              Sets or gets the maximum socket receive buffer in bytes.  The kernel doubles
              this  value  (to  allow space for bookkeeping overhead) when it is set using
              setsockopt(2), and this doubled value is  returned  by  getsockopt(2).   The
              default  value  is  set by the /proc/sys/net/core/rmem_default file, and the
              maximum allowed value is set by the /proc/sys/net/core/rmem_max  file.   The
              minimum (doubled) value for this option is 256.

       SO_RCVBUFFORCE (since Linux 2.6.14)
              Using  this  socket option, a privileged (CAP_NET_ADMIN) process can perform
              the same task as SO_RCVBUF, but the rmem_max limit can be overridden.

              Specify the minimum number of bytes in the buffer  until  the  socket  layer
              will  pass  the  data to the protocol (SO_SNDLOWAT) or the user on receiving
              (SO_RCVLOWAT).  These two values are initialized to 1.  SO_SNDLOWAT  is  not
              changeable  on  Linux  (setsockopt(2)  fails  with  the  error ENOPROTOOPT).
              SO_RCVLOWAT is changeable only since Linux 2.4.  The select(2)  and  poll(2)
              system  calls currently do not respect the SO_RCVLOWAT setting on Linux, and
              mark a socket readable when even a single byte of data is available.  A sub-
              sequent  read  from the socket will block until SO_RCVLOWAT bytes are avail-

              Specify the receiving or sending timeouts until  reporting  an  error.   The
              argument  is  a  struct  timeval.  If an input or output function blocks for
              this period of time, and data has been sent or received, the return value of
              that  function  will  be the amount of data transferred; if no data has been
              transferred and the timeout has been reached then -1 is returned with  errno
              set  to EAGAIN or EWOULDBLOCK just as if the socket was specified to be non-
              blocking.  If the timeout is set to zero (the default)  then  the  operation
              will never timeout.  Timeouts only have effect for system calls that perform
              socket I/O (e.g., read(2), recvmsg(2), send(2), sendmsg(2));  timeouts  have
              no effect for select(2), poll(2), epoll_wait(2), etc.

              Indicates  that the rules used in validating addresses supplied in a bind(2)
              call should allow reuse of local addresses.  For AF_INET sockets this  means
              that  a  socket  may  bind,  except when there is an active listening socket
              bound to the address.  When the listening socket is bound to INADDR_ANY with
              a  specific  port then it is not possible to bind to this port for any local
              address.  Argument is an integer boolean flag.

              Permits multiple AF_INET or AF_INET6 sockets to be  bound  to  an  identical
              socket address.  This option must be set on each socket (including the first
              socket) prior to calling bind(2) on the socket.  To prevent port  hijacking,
              all  of  the processes binding to the same address must have the same effec-
              tive UID.  This option can be employed with both TCP and UDP sockets.

              For TCP sockets, this option allows accept(2) load distribution in a  multi-
              threaded  server to be improved by using a distinct listener socket for each
              thread.  This provides improved load distribution as compared to traditional
              techniques  such using a single accept(2)ing thread that distributes connec-
              tions, or having multiple threads that compete to accept(2)  from  the  same

              For  UDP  sockets, the use of this option can provide better distribution of
              incoming datagrams to multiple processes (or threads)  as  compared  to  the
              traditional  technique of having multiple processes compete to receive data-
              grams on the same socket.

              Sets or gets the maximum socket send buffer in bytes.   The  kernel  doubles
              this  value  (to  allow space for bookkeeping overhead) when it is set using
              setsockopt(2), and this doubled value is  returned  by  getsockopt(2).   The
              default  value  is  set  by the /proc/sys/net/core/wmem_default file and the
              maximum allowed value is set by the /proc/sys/net/core/wmem_max  file.   The
              minimum (doubled) value for this option is 2048.

       SO_SNDBUFFORCE (since Linux 2.6.14)
              Using  this  socket option, a privileged (CAP_NET_ADMIN) process can perform
              the same task as SO_SNDBUF, but the wmem_max limit can be overridden.

              Enable or disable the receiving of the SO_TIMESTAMP  control  message.   The
              timestamp  control  message  is sent with level SOL_SOCKET and the cmsg_data
              field is a struct timeval indicating the reception time of the  last  packet
              passed  to  the  user in this call.  See cmsg(3) for details on control mes-

              Gets the socket type as an integer (like SOCK_STREAM).   Can  only  be  read
              with getsockopt(2).

       When  writing  onto  a  connection-oriented  socket that has been shut down (by the
       local or the remote end) SIGPIPE is sent  to  the  writing  process  and  EPIPE  is
       returned.   The  signal  is not sent when the write call specified the MSG_NOSIGNAL

       When requested with the FIOSETOWN fcntl(2) or SIOCSPGRP  ioctl(2),  SIGIO  is  sent
       when an I/O event occurs.  It is possible to use poll(2) or select(2) in the signal
       handler to find out which socket the event occurred on.  An alternative  (in  Linux
       2.2)  is  to set a real-time signal using the F_SETSIG fcntl(2); the handler of the
       real time signal will be called with the file descriptor in the si_fd field of  its
       siginfo_t.  See fcntl(2) for more information.

       Under  some circumstances (e.g., multiple processes accessing a single socket), the
       condition that caused the SIGIO may  have  already  disappeared  when  the  process
       reacts to the signal.  If this happens, the process should wait again because Linux
       will resend the signal later.

   /proc interfaces
       The core socket networking parameters can be accessed via files  in  the  directory

              contains the default setting in bytes of the socket receive buffer.

              contains  the  maximum  socket receive buffer size in bytes which a user may
              set by using the SO_RCVBUF socket option.

              contains the default setting in bytes of the socket send buffer.

              contains the maximum socket send buffer size in bytes which a user  may  set
              by using the SO_SNDBUF socket option.

       message_cost and message_burst
              configure the token bucket filter used to load limit warning messages caused
              by external network events.

              Maximum number of packets in the global input queue.

              Maximum length of ancillary data and user control data like the  iovecs  per

       These operations can be accessed using ioctl(2):

           error = ioctl(ip_socket, ioctl_type, &value_result);

              Return a struct timeval with the receive timestamp of the last packet passed
              to the user.  This is useful for accurate round trip time measurements.  See
              setitimer(2) for a description of struct timeval.  This ioctl should only be
              used if the socket option SO_TIMESTAMP is not set on the socket.  Otherwise,
              it  returns  the  timestamp  of  the  last  packet  that  was received while
              SO_TIMESTAMP was not set, or it fails if no such packet has  been  received,
              (i.e., ioctl(2) returns -1 with errno set to ENOENT).

              Set  the process or process group to send SIGIO or SIGURG signals to when an
              asynchronous I/O operation has finished or urgent data  is  available.   The
              argument  is  a  pointer  to a pid_t.  If the argument is positive, send the
              signals to that process.  If the argument is negative, send the  signals  to
              the  process  group  with the ID of the absolute value of the argument.  The
              process may only choose itself or its own process group to  receive  signals
              unless it has the CAP_KILL capability or an effective UID of 0.

              Change  the  O_ASYNC  flag to enable or disable asynchronous I/O mode of the
              socket.  Asynchronous I/O mode means that the SIGIO signal or the signal set
              with F_SETSIG is raised when a new I/O event occurs.

              Argument is an integer boolean flag.  (This operation is synonymous with the
              use of fcntl(2) to set the O_ASYNC flag.)

              Get the current process or process group that receives SIGIO or SIGURG  sig-
              nals, or 0 when none is set.

       Valid fcntl(2) operations:

              The same as the SIOCGPGRP ioctl(2).

              The same as the SIOCSPGRP ioctl(2).

       SO_BINDTODEVICE  was  introduced in Linux 2.0.30.  SO_PASSCRED is new in Linux 2.2.
       The /proc interfaces was introduced in Linux 2.2.  SO_RCVTIMEO and SO_SNDTIMEO  are
       supported  since Linux 2.3.41.  Earlier, timeouts were fixed to a protocol-specific
       setting, and could not be read or written.

       Linux assumes that half of the send/receive buffer  is  used  for  internal  kernel
       structures;  thus the values in the corresponding /proc files are twice what can be
       observed on the wire.

       Linux will only allow port re-use with the SO_REUSEADDR option when this option was
       set  both  in  the previous program that performed a bind(2) to the port and in the
       program that wants to re-use the port.   This  differs  from  some  implementations
       (e.g.,  FreeBSD) where only the later program needs to set the SO_REUSEADDR option.
       Typically this difference is invisible, since, for example,  a  server  program  is
       designed to always set this option.

       The CONFIG_FILTER socket options SO_ATTACH_FILTER and SO_DETACH_FILTER are not doc-
       umented.  The suggested interface to use them is via the libpcap library.

       getsockopt(2), setsockopt(2), socket(2), capabilities(7), ddp(7), ip(7), packet(7),
       tcp(7), udp(7), unix(7)

       This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of
       the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at  http://www.ker-

Linux                             2008-12-03                         SOCKET(7)

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