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GETHOSTBYNAME(3) Library Functions Manual GETHOSTBYNAME(3)

NAME

gethostbyname, gethostbyname2, gethostbyaddr, gethostent, sethostent, endhostent, hstrerror, herrorget network host entry

SYNOPSIS

#include <netdb.h>
extern int h_errno;
struct hostent *
gethostbyname(const char *name);
struct hostent *
gethostent(void);
void
sethostent(int stayopen);
void
endhostent(void);
void
herror(const char *string);
const char *
hstrerror(int err);
#include <sys/socket.h>
#include <netdb.h>
struct hostent *
gethostbyname2(const char *name, int af);
struct hostent *
gethostbyaddr(const void *addr, socklen_t len, int af);

DESCRIPTION

The gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2(), and gethostbyaddr() functions each return a pointer to an object with the following structure describing an Internet host referenced by name or addr, respectively. This structure contains either information obtained from a name server, broken-out fields from a line in /etc/hosts, or database entries supplied by the yp(8) system. resolv.conf(5) describes how the particular database is chosen.
struct	hostent { 
	char	*h_name;	/* official name of host */ 
	char	**h_aliases;	/* alias list */ 
	int	h_addrtype;	/* host address type */ 
	int	h_length;	/* length of address */ 
	char	**h_addr_list;	/* list of returned addresses */ 
}; 
#define	h_addr  h_addr_list[0]	/* address, for backward compat */
The members of this structure are:
 
 
h_name
Official name of the host.
 
 
h_aliases
A NULL-terminated array of alternate names for the host.
 
 
h_addrtype
The type of address being returned.
 
 
h_length
The length, in bytes, of the address.
 
 
h_addr_list
A NULL-terminated array of network addresses for the host. Host addresses are returned in network byte order.
 
 
h_addr
The first address in h_addr_list; this is for backward compatibility.
The function gethostbyname() will search for the named host in the current domain and its parents using the search lookup semantics detailed in resolv.conf(5) and hostname(7).
gethostbyname2() is an advanced form of gethostbyname() which allows lookups in address families other than AF_INET. Currently, the only supported address family besides AF_INET is AF_INET6.
The gethostbyaddr() function will search for the specified address of length len in the address family af. The only address family currently supported is AF_INET.
The sethostent() function may be used to request the use of a connected TCP socket for queries. If the stayopen flag is non-zero, this sets the option to send all queries to the name server using TCP and to retain the connection after each call to gethostbyname() or gethostbyaddr(). Otherwise, queries are performed using UDP datagrams.
The endhostent() function closes the TCP connection.
The herror() function prints an error message describing the failure. If its argument string is not NULL, it is prepended to the message string and separated from it by a colon (‘:’) and a space. The error message is printed with a trailing newline. The contents of the error message is the same as that returned by hstrerror() with argument h_errno.

ENVIRONMENT

 
 
RES_OPTIONS
A list of options to override the resolver's internal defaults. See resolv.conf(5) for more information.

FILES

/etc/hosts
 
/etc/resolv.conf
 

DIAGNOSTICS

Error return status from gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2(), and gethostbyaddr() is indicated by return of a NULL pointer. The external integer h_errno may then be checked to see whether this is a temporary failure or an invalid or unknown host.
The variable h_errno can have the following values:
 
 
HOST_NOT_FOUND
No such host is known.
 
 
TRY_AGAIN
This is usually a temporary error and means that the local server did not receive a response from an authoritative server. A retry at some later time may succeed.
 
 
NO_RECOVERY
Some unexpected server failure was encountered. This is a non-recoverable error.
 
 
NO_DATA
The requested name is valid but does not have an IP address; this is not a temporary error. This means that the name is known to the name server but there is no address associated with this name. Another type of request to the name server using this domain name will result in an answer; for example, a mail-forwarder may be registered for this domain.
 
 
NETDB_INTERNAL
An internal error occurred. This may occur when an address family other than AF_INET or AF_INET6 is specified or when a resource is unable to be allocated.
 
 
NETDB_SUCCESS
The function completed successfully.

SEE ALSO

getaddrinfo(3), getnameinfo(3), resolver(3), hosts(5), resolv.conf(5), hostname(7)

HISTORY

The endhostent(), gethostbyaddr(), gethostbyname(), gethostent(), and sethostent() functions appeared in 4.1cBSD. The function herror() was added in 4.3BSD-Tahoe, hstrerror() in 4.4BSD, and gethostbyname2() in OpenBSD 2.1.

CAVEATS

If the search routines in resolv.conf(5) decide to read the /etc/hosts file, gethostent() and other functions will read the next line of the file, re-opening the file if necessary.
The sethostent() function opens and/or rewinds the file /etc/hosts. If the stayopen argument is non-zero, the file will not be closed after each call to gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2(), or gethostbyaddr().
The endhostent() function closes the file.

BUGS

These functions use static data storage; if the data is needed for future use, it should be copied before any subsequent calls overwrite it.
Only the Internet address formats are currently understood.
YP does not support any address families other than AF_INET and uses the traditional database format.
August 5, 2016 OpenBSD-current