SOCKET(2) MidnightBSD System Calls Manual SOCKET(2)

NAME

socket — create an endpoint for communication

LIBRARY

Standard C Library (libc, −lc)

SYNOPSIS

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/socket.h>

int

socket(int domain, int type, int protocol);

DESCRIPTION

The socket() system call creates an endpoint for communication and returns a descriptor.

The domain argument specifies a communications domain within which communication will take place; this selects the protocol family which should be used. These families are defined in the include file <sys/socket.h>. The currently understood formats are:

PF_LOCAL

Host-internal protocols, formerly called PF_UNIX,

PF_UNIX

Host-internal protocols, deprecated, use PF_LOCAL,

PF_INET

Internet version 4 protocols,

PF_PUP

PUP protocols, like BSP,

PF_APPLETALK

AppleTalk protocols,

PF_ROUTE

Internal Routing protocol,

PF_LINK

Link layer interface,

PF_IPX

Novell Internet Packet eXchange protocol,

PF_RTIP

Help Identify RTIP packets,

PF_PIP

Help Identify PIP packets,

PF_ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network,

PF_KEY

Internal key-management function,

PF_INET6

Internet version 6 protocols,

PF_NATM

Native ATM access,

PF_ATM

ATM,

PF_NETGRAPH

Netgraph sockets

The socket has the indicated type, which specifies the semantics of communication. Currently defined types are:

SOCK_STREAM

Stream socket,

SOCK_DGRAM

Datagram socket,

SOCK_RAW

Raw-protocol interface,

SOCK_RDM

Reliably-delivered packet,

SOCK_SEQPACKET

Sequenced packet stream

A SOCK_STREAM type provides sequenced, reliable, two-way connection based byte streams. An out-of-band data transmission mechanism may be supported. A SOCK_DGRAM socket supports datagrams (connectionless, unreliable messages of a fixed (typically small) maximum length). A SOCK_SEQPACKET socket may provide a sequenced, reliable, two-way connection-based data transmission path for datagrams of fixed maximum length; a consumer may be required to read an entire packet with each read system call. This facility is protocol specific, and presently unimplemented. SOCK_RAW sockets provide access to internal network protocols and interfaces. The types SOCK_RAW, which is available only to the super-user, and SOCK_RDM, which is planned, but not yet implemented, are not described here.

The protocol argument specifies a particular protocol to be used with the socket. Normally only a single protocol exists to support a particular socket type within a given protocol family. However, it is possible that many protocols may exist, in which case a particular protocol must be specified in this manner. The protocol number to use is particular to the ‘‘communication domain’’ in which communication is to take place; see protocols(5).

Sockets of type SOCK_STREAM are full-duplex byte streams, similar to pipes. A stream socket must be in a connected state before any data may be sent or received on it. A connection to another socket is created with a connect(2) system call. Once connected, data may be transferred using read(2) and write(2) calls or some variant of the send(2) and recv(2) functions. (Some protocol families, such as the Internet family, support the notion of an ‘‘implied connect’’, which permits data to be sent piggybacked onto a connect operation by using the sendto(2) system call.) When a session has been completed a close(2) may be performed. Out-of-band data may also be transmitted as described in send(2) and received as described in recv(2).

The communications protocols used to implement a SOCK_STREAM insure that data is not lost or duplicated. If a piece of data for which the peer protocol has buffer space cannot be successfully transmitted within a reasonable length of time, then the connection is considered broken and calls will indicate an error with -1 returns and with ETIMEDOUT as the specific code in the global variable errno. The protocols optionally keep sockets ‘‘warm’’ by forcing transmissions roughly every minute in the absence of other activity. An error is then indicated if no response can be elicited on an otherwise idle connection for an extended period (e.g. 5 minutes). A SIGPIPE signal is raised if a process sends on a broken stream; this causes naive processes, which do not handle the signal, to exit.

SOCK_SEQPACKET sockets employ the same system calls as SOCK_STREAM sockets. The only difference is that read(2) calls will return only the amount of data requested, and any remaining in the arriving packet will be discarded.

SOCK_DGRAM and SOCK_RAW sockets allow sending of datagrams to correspondents named in send(2) calls. Datagrams are generally received with recvfrom(2), which returns the next datagram with its return address.

An fcntl(2) system call can be used to specify a process group to receive a SIGURG signal when the out-of-band data arrives. It may also enable non-blocking I/O and asynchronous notification of I/O events via SIGIO.

The operation of sockets is controlled by socket level options. These options are defined in the file <sys/socket.h>. The setsockopt(2) and getsockopt(2) system calls are used to set and get options, respectively.

RETURN VALUES

A -1 is returned if an error occurs, otherwise the return value is a descriptor referencing the socket.

ERRORS

The socket() system call fails if:

[EPROTONOSUPPORT]

The protocol type or the specified protocol is not supported within this domain.

[EMFILE]

The per-process descriptor table is full.

[ENFILE]

The system file table is full.

[EACCES]

Permission to create a socket of the specified type and/or protocol is denied.

[ENOBUFS]

Insufficient buffer space is available. The socket cannot be created until sufficient resources are freed.

SEE ALSO

accept(2), bind(2), connect(2), getpeername(2), getsockname(2), getsockopt(2), ioctl(2), listen(2), read(2), recv(2), select(2), send(2), shutdown(2), socketpair(2), write(2), getprotoent(3), netgraph(4), protocols(5)

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An Introductory 4.3 BSD Interprocess Communication Tutorial ",
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BSD Interprocess Communication Tutorial ",
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HISTORY

The socket() system call appeared in 4.2BSD.

MidnightBSD 0.3 November 24, 1997 MidnightBSD 0.3