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MBUF(9) 			  BSD Kernel Developer's Manual 			  MBUF(9)

NAME
     mbuf, m_get, m_getclr, m_gethdr, m_devget, m_copym, m_copypacket, m_copydata, m_copyback,
     m_copyback_cow, m_cat, m_dup, m_makewritable, m_prepend, m_pulldown, m_pullup, m_split,
     m_adj, m_apply, m_free, m_freem, mtod, MGET, MGETHDR, MEXTMALLOC, MEXTADD, MCLGET,
     M_COPY_PKTHDR, M_MOVE_PKTHDR, M_ALIGN, MH_ALIGN, M_LEADINGSPACE, M_TRAILINGSPACE, M_PREPEND,
     MCHTYPE, MFREE -- functions and macros for managing memory used by networking code

SYNOPSIS
     #include <sys/mbuf.h>

     struct mbuf *
     m_get(int nowait, int type);

     struct mbuf *
     m_getclr(int nowait, int type);

     struct mbuf *
     m_gethdr(int nowait, int type);

     struct mbuf *
     m_devget(char *buf, int totlen, int off0, struct ifnet *ifp,
	 void (*copy)(const void *, void *, size_t));

     struct mbuf *
     m_copym(struct mbuf *m, int off0, int len, int wait);

     struct mbuf *
     m_copypacket(struct mbuf *m, int how);

     void
     m_copydata(struct mbuf *m, int off, int len, void *cp);

     void
     m_copyback(struct mbuf *m0, int off, int len, void *cp);

     struct mbuf *
     m_copyback_cow(struct mbuf *m0, int off, int len, void *cp, int how);

     int
     m_makewritable(struct mbuf **mp, int off, int len, int how);

     void
     m_cat(struct mbuf *m, struct mbuf *n);

     struct mbuf *
     m_dup(struct mbuf *m, int off0, int len, int wait);

     struct mbuf *
     m_prepend(struct mbuf *m, int len, int how);

     struct mbuf *
     m_pulldown(struct mbuf *m, int off, int len, int *offp);

     struct mbuf *
     m_pullup(struct mbuf *n, int len);

     struct mbuf *
     m_split(struct mbuf *m0, int len0, int wait);

     void
     m_adj(struct mbuf *mp, int req_len);

     int
     m_apply(struct mbuf *m, int off, int len, int *f(void *, void *, unsigned int), void *arg);

     struct mbuf *
     m_free(struct mbuf *m);

     void
     m_freem(struct mbuf *m);

     datatype
     mtod(struct mbuf *m, datatype);

     void
     MGET(struct mbuf *m, int how, int type);

     void
     MGETHDR(struct mbuf *m, int how, int type);

     void
     MEXTMALLOC(struct mbuf *m, int len, int how);

     void
     MEXTADD(struct mbuf *m, void *buf, int size, int type,
	 void (*free)(struct mbuf *, void *, size_t, void *), void *arg);

     void
     MCLGET(struct mbuf *m, int how);

     void
     M_COPY_PKTHDR(struct mbuf *to, struct mbuf *from);

     void
     M_MOVE_PKTHDR(struct mbuf *to, struct mbuf *from);

     void
     M_ALIGN(struct mbuf *m, int len);

     void
     MH_ALIGN(struct mbuf *m, int len);

     int
     M_LEADINGSPACE(struct mbuf *m);

     int
     M_TRAILINGSPACE(struct mbuf *m);

     void
     M_PREPEND(struct mbuf *m, int plen, int how);

     void
     MCHTYPE(struct mbuf *m, int type);

     void
     MFREE(struct mbuf *m, struct mbuf *n);

DESCRIPTION
     The mbuf functions and macros provide an easy and consistent way to handle a networking
     stack's memory management needs.  An mbuf consists of a header and a data area.  It is of a
     fixed size, MSIZE (defined in <machine/param.h>), which includes overhead.  The header con-
     tains a pointer to the next mbuf in the 'mbuf chain', a pointer to the next 'mbuf chain', a
     pointer to the data area, the amount of data in this mbuf, its type and a flags field.

     The type variable can signify:
	   MT_FREE	the mbuf should be on the ``free'' list
	   MT_DATA	data was dynamically allocated
	   MT_HEADER	data is a packet header
	   MT_SONAME	data is a socket name
	   MT_SOOPTS	data is socket options
	   MT_FTABLE	data is the fragment reassembly header
	   MT_CONTROL	mbuf contains ancillary (protocol control) data
	   MT_OOBDATA	mbuf contains out-of-band data.

     The flags variable contains information describing the mbuf, notably:
	   M_EXT	has external storage
	   M_PKTHDR	is start of record
	   M_EOR	is end of record
	   M_CLUSTER	external storage is a cluster.

     If an mbuf designates the start of a record (M_PKTHDR), its flags field may contain addi-
     tional information describing the content of the record:
	   M_BCAST	sent/received as link-level broadcast
	   M_MCAST	sent/received as link-level multicast
	   M_LINK0,
	   M_LINK1,
	   M_LINK2	three link-level specific flags.

     An mbuf may add a single 'mbuf cluster' of MCLBYTES bytes (also defined in
     <machine/param.h>), which has no additional overhead and is used instead of the internal
     data area; this is done when at least MINCLSIZE bytes of data must be stored.

     When the M_EXT flag is raised for an mbuf, the external storage area could be shared among
     multiple mbufs.  Be careful when you attempt to overwrite the data content of the mbuf.

     m_get(int nowait, int type)
	      Allocates an mbuf and initializes it to contain internal data.  The nowait parame-
	      ter is a choice of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from caller.  M_WAIT means the call cannot
	      fail, but may take forever.  The type parameter is an mbuf type.

     m_getclr(int nowait, int type)
	      Allocates an mbuf and initializes it to contain internal data, then zeros the data
	      area.  The nowait parameter is a choice of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from caller.  The
	      type parameter is an mbuf type.

     m_gethdr(int nowait, int type)
	      Allocates an mbuf and initializes it to contain a packet header and internal data.
	      The nowait parameter is a choice of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from caller.  The type
	      parameter is an mbuf type.

     m_devget(char *buf, int totlen, int off0, struct ifnet *ifp, void (*copy)(const void *, void
	      *, size_t))
	      Copies len bytes from device local memory into mbufs using copy routine copy.  If
	      parameter off is non-zero, the packet is supposed to be trailer-encapsulated and
	      off bytes plus the type and length fields will be skipped before copying.  Returns
	      the top of the mbuf chain it created.

     m_copym(struct mbuf *m, int off0, int len, int wait)
	      Creates a copy of an mbuf chain starting off0 bytes from the beginning, continuing
	      for len bytes.  If the len requested is M_COPYALL, the complete mbuf chain will be
	      copied.  The wait parameter is a choice of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from caller.

     m_copypacket(struct mbuf *m, int how)
	      Copies an entire packet, including header (which must be present).  This function
	      is an optimization of the common case m_copym(m, 0, M_COPYALL, how).

     m_copydata(struct mbuf *m, int off, int len, void *cp)
	      Copies len bytes data from mbuf chain m into the buffer cp, starting off bytes from
	      the beginning.

     m_copyback(struct mbuf *m0, int off, int len, void *cp)
	      Copies len bytes data from buffer cp back into the mbuf chain m0, starting off
	      bytes from the beginning of the chain, extending the mbuf chain if necessary.
	      m_copyback() can only fail when extending the chain.  The caller should check for
	      this kind of failure by checking the resulting length of the chain in that case.
	      It is an error to use m_copyback() on read-only mbufs.

     m_copyback_cow(struct mbuf *m0, int off, int len, void *cp, int how)
	      Copies len bytes data from buffer cp back into the mbuf chain m0 as m_copyback()
	      does.  Unlike m_copyback(), it is safe to use m_copyback_cow() on read-only mbufs.
	      If needed, m_copyback_cow() automatically allocates new mbufs and adjusts the
	      chain.  On success, it returns a pointer to the resulting mbuf chain, and frees the
	      original mbuf m0.  Otherwise, it returns NULL.  The how parameter is a choice of
	      M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from the caller.  Unlike m_copyback(), extending the mbuf chain
	      isn't supported.	It is an error to attempt to extend the mbuf chain using
	      m_copyback_cow().

     m_makewritable(struct mbuf **mp, int off, int len, int how)
	      Rearranges an mbuf chain so that len bytes from offset off are writable.	When it
	      meets read-only mbufs, it allocates new mbufs, adjusts the chain as
	      m_copyback_cow() does, and copies the original content into them.  m_makewritable()
	      does not guarantee that all len bytes at off are consecutive.  The how parameter is
	      a choice of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from the caller.	m_makewritable() preserves the
	      contents of the mbuf chain even in the case of failure.  It updates a pointer to
	      the mbuf chain pointed to by mp.	It returns 0 on success.  Otherwise, it returns
	      an error code, typically ENOBUFS.

     m_cat(struct mbuf *m, struct mbuf *n)
	      Concatenates mbuf chain n to m.  Both chains must be of the same type; packet head-
	      ers will not be updated if present.

     m_dup(struct mbuf *m, int off0, int len, int wait)
	      Similarly to m_copym(), the function creates a copy of an mbuf chain starting off0
	      bytes from the beginning, continuing for len bytes.  While m_copym() tries to share
	      external storage for mbufs with M_EXT flag, m_dup() will deep-copy the whole data
	      content into new mbuf chain and avoids shared external storage.

     m_prepend(struct mbuf *m, int len, int how)
	      Lesser-used path for M_PREPEND(): allocates new mbuf m of size len to prepend to
	      the chain, copying junk along.  The how parameter is a choice of M_WAIT /
	      M_DONTWAIT from caller.

     m_pulldown(struct mbuf *m, int off, int len, int *offp)
	      Rearranges an mbuf chain so that len bytes from offset off are contiguous and in
	      the data area of an mbuf.  The return value points to an mbuf in the middle of the
	      mbuf chain m.  If we call the return value n, the contiguous data region is avail-
	      able at mtod(n, void *) + *offp, or mtod(n, void *) if offp is NULL.  The top of
	      the mbuf chain m, and mbufs up to off, will not be modified.  On successful return,
	      it is guaranteed that the mbuf pointed to by n does not have a shared external
	      storage, therefore it is safe to update the contiguous region.  Returns NULL and
	      frees the mbuf chain on failure.	len must be smaller or equal than MCLBYTES.

     m_pullup(struct mbuf *m, int len)
	      Rearranges an mbuf chain so that len bytes are contiguous and in the data area of
	      an mbuf (so that mtod() will work for a structure of size len).  Returns the
	      resulting mbuf chain on success, frees it and returns NULL on failure.  If there is
	      room, it will add up to max_protohdr - len extra bytes to the contiguous region to
	      possibly avoid being called again.  len must be smaller or equal than MHLEN.

     m_split(struct mbuf *m0, int len0, int wait)
	      Partitions an mbuf chain in two pieces, returning the tail, which is all but the
	      first len0 bytes.  In case of failure, it returns NULL and attempts to restore the
	      chain to its original state.

     m_adj(struct mbuf *mp, int req_len)
	      Shaves off req_len bytes from head or tail of the (valid) data area.  If req_len is
	      greater than zero, front bytes are being shaved off, if it's smaller, from the back
	      (and if it is zero, the mbuf will stay bearded).	This function does not move data
	      in any way, but is used to manipulate the data area pointer and data length vari-
	      able of the mbuf in a non-clobbering way.

     m_apply(struct mbuf *m, int off, int len, int (*f)(void *, void *, unsigned int), void *arg)
	      Apply function f to the data in an mbuf chain starting off bytes from the begin-
	      ning, continuing for len bytes.  Neither off nor len may be negative.  arg will be
	      supplied as first argument for f, the second argument will be the pointer to the
	      data buffer of a packet (starting after off bytes in the stream), and the third
	      argument is the amount of data in bytes in this call.  If f returns something not
	      equal to zero m_apply() will bail out, returning the return code of f.  Upon suc-
	      cessful completion it will return zero.

     m_free(struct mbuf *m)
	      Frees mbuf m.

     m_freem(struct mbuf *m)
	      Frees the mbuf chain beginning with m.  This function contains the elementary san-
	      ity check for a NULL pointer.

     mtod(struct mbuf *m, datatype)
	      Returns a pointer to the data contained in the specified mbuf m, type-casted to the
	      specified data type datatype.  Implemented as a macro.

     MGET(struct mbuf *m, int how, int type)
	      Allocates mbuf m and initializes it to contain internal data.  See m_get().  Imple-
	      mented as a macro.

     MGETHDR(struct mbuf *m, int how, int type)
	      Allocates mbuf m and initializes it to contain a packet header.  See m_gethdr().
	      Implemented as a macro.

     MEXTMALLOC(struct mbuf *m, int len, int how)
	      Allocates external storage of size len for mbuf m.  The how parameter is a choice
	      of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from caller.  The flag M_EXT is set upon success.	Imple-
	      mented as a macro.

     MEXTADD(struct mbuf *m, void *buf, int size, int type, void (*free)(struct mbuf *, void *,
	      size_t, void *), void *arg)
	      Adds pre-allocated external storage buf to a normal mbuf m; the parameters size,
	      type, free and arg describe the external storage.  size is the size of the storage,
	      type describes its malloc(9) type, free is a free routine (if not the usual one),
	      and arg is a possible argument to the free routine.  The flag M_EXT is set upon
	      success.	Implemented as a macro.  If a free routine is specified, it will be
	      called when the mbuf is freed.  In the case of former, the first argument for a
	      free routine is the mbuf m and the routine is expected to free it in addition to
	      the external storage pointed by second argument.	In the case of latter, the first
	      argument for the routine is NULL.

     MCLGET(struct mbuf *m, int how)
	      Allocates and adds an mbuf cluster to a normal mbuf m.  The how parameter is a
	      choice of M_WAIT / M_DONTWAIT from caller.  The flag M_EXT is set upon success.
	      Implemented as a macro.

     M_COPY_PKTHDR(struct mbuf *to, struct mbuf *from)
	      Copies the mbuf pkthdr from mbuf from to mbuf to.  from must have the type flag
	      M_PKTHDR set, and to must be empty.  Implemented as a macro.

     M_MOVE_PKTHDR(struct mbuf *to, struct mbuf *from)
	      Moves the mbuf pkthdr from mbuf from to mbuf to.	from must have the type flag
	      M_PKTHDR set, and to must be empty.  The flag M_PKTHDR in mbuf from will be
	      cleared.

     M_ALIGN(struct mbuf *m, int len)
	      Sets the data pointer of a newly allocated mbuf m to len bytes from the end of the
	      mbuf data area, so that len bytes of data written to the mbuf m, starting at the
	      data pointer, will be aligned to the end of the data area.  Implemented as a macro.

     MH_ALIGN(struct mbuf *m, int len)
	      Sets the data pointer of a newly allocated packetheader mbuf m to len bytes from
	      the end of the mbuf data area, so that len bytes of data written to the mbuf m,
	      starting at the data pointer, will be aligned to the end of the data area.  Imple-
	      mented as a macro.

     M_LEADINGSPACE(struct mbuf *m)
	      Returns the amount of space available before the current start of valid data in
	      mbuf m.  Returns 0 if the mbuf data part is shared across multiple mbufs (i.e. not
	      writable).  Implemented as a macro.

     M_TRAILINGSPACE(struct mbuf *m)
	      Returns the amount of space available after the current end of valid data in mbuf
	      m.  Returns 0 if the mbuf data part is shared across multiple mbufs (i.e. not
	      writable).  Implemented as a macro.

     M_PREPEND(struct mbuf *m, int plen, int how)
	      Prepends space of size plen to mbuf m.  If a new mbuf must be allocated, how speci-
	      fies whether to wait.  If how is M_DONTWAIT and allocation fails, the original mbuf
	      chain is freed and m is set to NULL.  Implemented as a macro.

     MCHTYPE(struct mbuf *m, int type)
	      Change mbuf m to new type type.  Implemented as a macro.

     MFREE(struct mbuf *m, struct mbuf *n)
	      Frees a single mbuf m and places the successor, if any, in mbuf n.  Implemented as
	      a macro.

CODE REFERENCES
     The mbuf management functions are implemented within the file sys/kern/uipc_mbuf.c.  Func-
     tion prototypes, and the functions implemented as macros are located in sys/sys/mbuf.h.

SEE ALSO
     /usr/share/doc/smm/18.net, netstat(1), m_tag(9), malloc(9)

     Jun-ichiro Hagino, "Mbuf issues in 4.4BSD IPv6/IPsec support (experiences from KAME
     IPv6/IPsec implementation)", Proceedings of the freenix track: 2000 USENIX annual technical
     conference, June 2000.

AUTHORS
     The original mbuf data structures were designed by Rob Gurwitz when he did the initial
     TCP/IP implementation at BBN.

     Further extensions and enhancements were made by Bill Joy, Sam Leffler, and Mike Karels at
     CSRG.

     Current implementation of external storage by Matt Thomas <matt@3am-software.com> and Jason
     R. Thorpe <thorpej@NetBSD.org>.

BSD					  March 24, 2008				      BSD
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