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GETSOCKOPT(2) System Calls Manual GETSOCKOPT(2)

getsockopt, setsockoptget or set options on sockets

#include <sys/socket.h>

getsockopt(int s, int level, int optname, void *optval, socklen_t *optlen);

setsockopt(int s, int level, int optname, const void *optval, socklen_t optlen);

() and setsockopt() manipulate the associated with a socket. Options may exist at multiple protocol levels; they are always present at the uppermost “socket” level.

When manipulating socket options, the level at which the option resides and the name of the option must be specified. To manipulate options at the socket level, level is specified as SOL_SOCKET. To manipulate options at any other level the protocol number of the appropriate protocol controlling the option is supplied. For example, to indicate that an option is to be interpreted by the TCP protocol, level should be set to the protocol number of TCP; see getprotoent(3).

The parameters optval and optlen are used to access option values for (). For getsockopt() they identify a buffer in which the value for the requested option(s) are to be returned. For getsockopt(), optlen is a value-result parameter, initially containing the size of the buffer pointed to by optval, and modified on return to indicate the actual size of the value returned. If no option value is to be supplied or returned, optval may be NULL.

optname and any specified options are passed uninterpreted to the appropriate protocol module for interpretation. The include file <sys/socket.h> contains definitions for socket level options, described below. Options at other protocol levels vary in format and name; consult the appropriate entries in section 4 of the manual.

Most socket-level options utilize an int parameter for optval. For (), the parameter should be non-zero to enable a boolean option, or zero if the option is to be disabled. SO_LINGER uses a struct linger parameter, defined in <sys/socket.h>, which specifies the desired state of the option and the linger interval (see below). SO_SNDTIMEO and SO_RCVTIMEO use a struct timeval parameter, defined in <sys/time.h>.

The following options are recognized at the socket level. Except as noted, each may be examined with () and set with setsockopt().

enables recording of debugging information
enables local address reuse
enables duplicate address and port bindings
enables keep connections alive
enables routing bypass; not supported
linger on close if data present
enables permission to transmit broadcast messages
enables reception of out-of-band data in band
enables binding to any address
set buffer size for output
set buffer size for input
set minimum count for output
set minimum count for input
set timeout value for output
set timeout value for input
enables reception of a timestamp with datagrams
set the routing table used for route lookups
splice two sockets together or get data length
clear all memory containing user supplied data
get the type of the socket (get only)
get and clear error on the socket (get only)
get the domain of the socket (get only)
get the protocol of the socket (get only)
get listening status of the socket (get only)
get the credentials from other side of connection (get only)

SO_DEBUG enables debugging in the underlying protocol modules. Transliterate the protocol trace with trpt(8). SO_REUSEADDR indicates that the rules used in validating addresses supplied in a bind(2) call should allow reuse of local addresses by callers with the same user ID (or the superuser). SO_REUSEPORT allows completely duplicate bindings by multiple processes if they all set SO_REUSEPORT before binding the port. This option permits multiple instances of a program to each receive UDP/IP multicast or broadcast datagrams destined for the bound port. SO_KEEPALIVE enables the periodic transmission of messages on a connected socket. Should the connected party fail to respond to these messages, the connection is considered broken and processes using the socket are notified via a SIGPIPE signal when attempting to send data.

SO_LINGER controls the action taken when unsent messages are queued on socket and a close(2) is performed. If the socket promises reliable delivery of data and SO_LINGER is set, the system will block the process on the close(2) attempt until it is able to transmit the data or until it decides it is unable to deliver the information (a timeout period measured in seconds, termed the linger interval, is specified in the () call when SO_LINGER is requested). If SO_LINGER is disabled and a close(2) is issued, the system will process the close in a manner that allows the process to continue as quickly as possible.

The option SO_BROADCAST requests permission to send broadcast datagrams on the socket. Broadcast was a privileged operation in earlier versions of the system. With protocols that support out-of-band data, the SO_OOBINLINE option requests that out-of-band data be placed in the normal data input queue as received; it will then be accessible with recv(2) or read(2) calls without the MSG_OOB flag. Some protocols always behave as if this option is set.

SO_BINDANY allows the socket to be bound to addresses which are not local to the machine, so it can be used to make a transparent proxy. Note that this option is limited to the superuser. In order to receive packets for these addresses, SO_BINDANY needs to be combined with matching outgoing pf(4) rules with the divert-reply parameter. For example, with the following rule the socket receives packets for even if it is not a local address:

pass out inet from divert-reply

SO_SNDBUF and SO_RCVBUF are options to adjust the normal buffer sizes allocated for output and input buffers, respectively. The buffer size may be increased for high-volume connections, or may be decreased to limit the possible backlog of incoming data. The system places an absolute limit on these values.

SO_SNDLOWAT is an option to set the minimum count for output operations. Most output operations process all of the data supplied by the call, delivering data to the protocol for transmission and blocking as necessary for flow control. Nonblocking output operations will process as much data as permitted subject to flow control without blocking, but will process no data if flow control does not allow the smaller of the low water mark value or the entire request to be processed. A select(2) or poll(2) operation testing the ability to write to a socket will return true only if the low water mark amount could be processed. The default value for SO_SNDLOWAT is set to a convenient size for network efficiency, often 1024. SO_RCVLOWAT is an option to set the minimum count for input operations. In general, receive calls will block until any (non-zero) amount of data is received, then return with the smaller of the amount available or the amount requested. The default value for SO_RCVLOWAT is 1. If SO_RCVLOWAT is set to a larger value, blocking receive calls normally wait until they have received the smaller of the low water mark value or the requested amount. Receive calls may still return less than the low water mark if an error occurs, a signal is caught, or the type of data next in the receive queue is different than that returned.

SO_SNDTIMEO is an option to set a timeout value for output operations. It accepts a struct timeval parameter with the number of seconds and microseconds used to limit waits for output operations to complete. If a send operation has blocked for this much time, it returns with a partial count or with the error EWOULDBLOCK if no data was sent. In the current implementation, this timer is restarted each time additional data are delivered to the protocol, implying that the limit applies to output portions ranging in size from the low water mark to the high water mark for output. SO_RCVTIMEO is an option to set a timeout value for input operations. It accepts a struct timeval parameter with the number of seconds and microseconds used to limit waits for input operations to complete. In the current implementation, this timer is restarted each time additional data are received by the protocol, and thus the limit is in effect an inactivity timer. If a receive operation has been blocked for this much time without receiving additional data, it returns with a short count or with the error EWOULDBLOCK if no data were received.

If the SO_TIMESTAMP option is enabled on a SOCK_DGRAM socket, the recvmsg(2) call will return a timestamp corresponding to when the datagram was received. The msg_control field in the msghdr structure points to a buffer that contains a cmsghdr structure followed by a struct timeval. The cmsghdr fields have the following values:

cmsg_len = CMSG_LEN(sizeof(struct timeval))
cmsg_level = SOL_SOCKET
cmsg_type = SCM_TIMESTAMP

The SO_RTABLE option gets or sets the routing table which will be used by the socket for address lookups. If a protocol family of the socket doesn't support switching routing tables, the ENOPROTOOPT error is returned. Only the superuser is allowed to change the routing table if it is already set to a non-zero value. A socket's chosen routing table is initialized from the process's configuration, previously selected using setrtable(2).

SO_SPLICE can splice together two TCP or UDP sockets for unidirectional zero-copy data transfers. Splice also the other way around to get bidirectional data flow. Both sockets must be of the same type. In the first form, () is called with the source socket s and the drain socket's int file descriptor as optval. In the second form, optval is a struct splice with the drain socket in sp_fd, a positive maximum number of bytes or 0 in sp_max and an idle timeout sp_idle in the form of a struct timeval. If -1 is given as drain socket, the source socket s gets unspliced. Otherwise the spliced data transfer continues within the kernel until the optional maximum is reached, one of the connections terminates, idle timeout expires or an error occurs. A successful select(2), poll(2), or kqueue(2) operation testing the ability to read from the source socket indicates that the splicing has terminated. When one of the sockets gets closed, splicing ends. The error status can be examined with SO_ERROR at the source socket. The ELOOP error is set if userland created a loop by splicing sockets connected to localhost. The ETIMEDOUT error is set if there was no data transferred between two sockets during the sp_idle period of time. The EFBIG error is set after exactly sp_max bytes have been transferred. Note that if a maximum is given, it is only guaranteed that no more bytes are transferred. A short splice can happen, but then a second call to splice will transfer the remaining data immediately. The SO_SPLICE option with getsockopt() and an off_t value as optval can be used to retrieve the number of bytes transferred so far from the source socket s. A successful new splice resets this number.

Userland may write sensitive data into a socket. If SO_ZEROIZE is set, overwrite kernel memory after sending data.

Finally, SO_TYPE, SO_DOMAIN, SO_PROTOCOL, SO_ERROR, SO_ACCEPTCONN, and SO_PEERCRED are options used only with (). SO_TYPE returns the type of the socket, such as SOCK_STREAM; it is useful for servers that inherit sockets on startup. SO_DOMAIN returns the domain of the socket, such as AF_INET. SO_PROTOCOL returns the protocol of the socket such as IPPROTO_TCP. SO_ERROR returns any pending error on the socket and clears the error status. It may be used to check for asynchronous errors on connected datagram sockets or for other asynchronous errors. SO_ACCEPTCONN returns whether the socket is currently accepting connections, that is, whether or not listen(2) was called. SO_PEERCRED fetches the struct sockpeercred credentials from the other side of the connection (currently only possible on AF_UNIX sockets). These credentials are from the time that bind(2), connect(2) or socketpair(2) were called.

Upon successful completion, the value 0 is returned; otherwise the value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.

The call succeeds unless:

The argument s is not a valid descriptor.
The argument s is a file, not a socket.
The option is unknown at the level indicated.
The option is unsupported.
The address pointed to by optval is not in a valid part of the process address space. For getsockopt(), this error may also be returned if optlen is not in a valid part of the process address space.

connect(2), getrtable(2), ioctl(2), poll(2), select(2), socket(2), getprotoent(3), divert(4), pf.conf(5), protocols(5), sosplice(9)

The getsockopt() and setsockopt() functions conform to IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”).

The getsockopt() system call appeared in 4.1cBSD.

Several of the socket options should be handled at lower levels of the system.

April 2, 2024 OpenBSD-current