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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 protocol 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 connected
       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 operations 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.  getsock-
       opt(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 options.

       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 select(2).

       |                            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 han-
       dler 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 lis-
              ten(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 variable-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
              supported for packet sockets (use normal bind(8) there).

              Set or get the broadcast flag.  When enabled, datagram sockets  receive  packets  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 module 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 gen-
              erates 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

              Return  the credentials of the foreign process connected to this socket.  This is only possible for con-
              nected 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 con-
              nect(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 get-
              sockopt(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  pro-
              tocol  (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 subsequent read from the socket will block until SO_RCVLOWAT bytes are available.

              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 oper-
              ation 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

              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 getsock-
              opt(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

       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 messages.

              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 flag.

       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

       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 /proc/sys/net/core/.

              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

       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 socket.

       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  use-
              ful  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  pro-
              cess 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 signals, 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

       The  CONFIG_FILTER  socket  options  SO_ATTACH_FILTER  and  SO_DETACH_FILTER are not documented.  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  informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at

Linux                             2008-12-03                         SOCKET(7)