Go Back    


Recursive Search Engine for Linux and Unix Man Pages by Neo
Man Page or Keyword Search:   man
Select Man Page Set:       apropos Keyword Search (sections above)

SOCKET(2)			     BSD 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.  Cur-
     rently 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).

     The protocol argument may be set to zero (0) to request the default implementation of a
     socket type for the protocol, if any.

     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 trans-
     ferred using read(2) and write(2) calls or some variant of the send(2) and recv(2) func-
     tions.  (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 per-
     formed.  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 ensure that data is not lost or
     duplicated.  If a piece of data for which the peer protocol has buffer space cannot be suc-
     cessfully 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 forc-
     ing 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).  By default, a SIGPIPE signal is raised if a process sends on a
     broken stream, but this behavior may be inhibited via setsockopt(2).

     SOCK_SEQPACKET sockets employ the same system calls as SOCK_STREAM sockets.  The only dif-
     ference is that read(2) calls will return only the amount of data requested, and any remain-
     ing 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.

     [EPERM]		User has insufficient privileges to carry out the requested operation.

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)

     "An Introductory 4.3 BSD Interprocess Communication Tutorial", PS1, 7.

     "BSD Interprocess Communication Tutorial", PS1, 8.

HISTORY
     The socket() system call appeared in 4.2BSD.

BSD					 January 5, 2009				      BSD
The UNIX and Linux Forums Man Pages : 2014 The UNIX and Linux Forums


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:28 AM.