ACCEPT(2) BSD System Calls Manual ACCEPT(2)
accept -- accept a connection on a socket
accept(int s, struct sockaddr *addr, int *addrlen);
The argument s is a socket that has been created with socket(2), bound to an address with
bind(2), and is listening for connections after a listen(2). The accept() argument extracts
the first connection request on the queue of pending connections, creates a new socket with
the same properties of s and allocates a new file descriptor for the socket. If no pending
connections are present on the queue, and the socket is not marked as non-blocking, accept()
blocks the caller until a connection is present. If the socket is marked non-blocking and
no pending connections are present on the queue, accept() returns an error as described
below. The accepted socket may not be used to accept more connections. The original socket
s remains open.
The argument addr is a result parameter that is filled in with the address of the connecting
entity, as known to the communications layer. The exact format of the addr parameter is
determined by the domain in which the communication is occurring. The addrlen is a value-
result parameter; it should initially contain the amount of space pointed to by addr; on
return it will contain the actual length (in bytes) of the address returned. This call is
used with connection-based socket types, currently with SOCK_STREAM.
It is possible to select(2) a socket for the purposes of doing an accept() by selecting it
For certain protocols which require an explicit confirmation, such as ISO or DATAKIT,
accept() can be thought of as merely dequeuing the next connection request and not implying
confirmation. Confirmation can be implied by a normal read or write on the new file
descriptor, and rejection can be implied by closing the new socket.
One can obtain user connection request data without confirming the connection by issuing a
recvmsg(2) call with an msg_iovlen of 0 and a non-zero msg_controllen, or by issuing a
getsockopt(2) request. Similarly, one can provide user connection rejection information by
issuing a sendmsg(2) call with providing only the control information, or by calling
The call returns -1 on error. If it succeeds, it returns a non-negative integer that is a
descriptor for the accepted socket.
The accept() will fail if:
[EBADF] The descriptor is invalid.
[ENOTSOCK] The descriptor references a file, not a socket.
[EOPNOTSUPP] The referenced socket is not of type SOCK_STREAM.
[EFAULT] The addr parameter is not in a writable part of the user address space.
[EWOULDBLOCK] The socket is marked non-blocking and no connections are present to be
[EMFILE] The per-process descriptor table is full.
[ENFILE] The system file table is full.
bind(2), connect(2), listen(2), select(2), socket(2)
The accept() function appeared in 4.2BSD.
4.2 Berkeley Distribution December 11, 1993 4.2 Berkeley Distribution