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RECV(2)                   OpenBSD Programmer's Manual                  RECV(2)

     recv, recvfrom, recvmsg - receive a message from a socket

     #include <sys/types.h>
     #include <sys/socket.h>

     recv(int s, void *buf, size_t len, int flags);

     recvfrom(int s, void *buf, size_t len, int flags, struct sockaddr *from,
             socklen_t *fromlen);

     recvmsg(int s, struct msghdr *msg, int flags);

     recvfrom() and recvmsg() are used to receive messages from a socket, and
     may be used to receive data on a socket whether or not it is connection-

     If from is non-null and the socket is not connection-oriented, the source
     address of the message is filled in.  fromlen is a value-result parame-
     ter, initialized to the size of the buffer associated with from, and mod-
     ified on return to indicate the actual size of the address stored there.

     The recv() call is normally used only on a connected socket (see
     connect(2)) and is identical to recvfrom() with a null from parameter.
     As it is redundant, it may not be supported in future releases.

     On successful completion, all three routines return the number of message
     bytes read.  If a message is too long to fit in the supplied buffer, ex-
     cess bytes may be discarded depending on the type of socket the message
     is received from (see socket(2)).

     If no messages are available at the socket, the receive call waits for a
     message to arrive, unless the socket is nonblocking (see fcntl(2)) in
     which case the value -1 is returned and the external variable errno set
     to EAGAIN.  The receive calls normally return any data available, up to
     the requested amount, rather than waiting for receipt of the full amount
     requested; this behavior is affected by the socket-level options
     SO_RCVLOWAT and SO_RCVTIMEO described in getsockopt(2).

     The select(2) or poll(2) system calls may be used to determine when more
     data arrive.

     The flags argument to a recv call is formed by ORing one or more of the

           MSG_OOB        process out-of-band data
           MSG_PEEK       peek at incoming message
           MSG_WAITALL    wait for full request or error

     The MSG_OOB flag requests receipt of out-of-band data that would not be
     received in the normal data stream.  Some protocols place expedited data
     at the head of the normal data queue, and thus this flag cannot be used
     with such protocols.  The MSG_PEEK flag causes the receive operation to
     return data from the beginning of the receive queue without removing that
     data from the queue.  Thus, a subsequent receive call will return the
     same data.  The MSG_WAITALL flag requests that the operation block until
     the full request is satisfied.  However, the call may still return less
     data than requested if a signal is caught, an error or disconnect occurs,
     or the next data to be received is of a different type than that re-

     The recvmsg() call uses a msghdr structure to minimize the number of di-
     rectly supplied parameters.  This structure has the following form, as
     defined in <sys/socket.h>:

     struct msghdr {
             void            *msg_name;      /* optional address */
             socklen_t       msg_namelen;    /* size of address */
             struct          iovec *msg_iov; /* scatter/gather array */
             unsigned int    msg_iovlen;     /* # elements in msg_iov */
             void            *msg_control;   /* ancillary data, see below */
             socklen_t       msg_controllen; /* ancillary data buffer len */
             int             msg_flags;      /* flags on received message */

     Here msg_name and msg_namelen specify the source address if the socket is
     unconnected; msg_name may be given as a null pointer if no names are de-
     sired or required.  msg_iov and msg_iovlen describe scatter gather loca-
     tions, as discussed in read(2).  msg_control, which has length
     msg_controllen, points to a buffer for other protocol control related
     messages or other miscellaneous ancillary data.  The messages are of the

     struct cmsghdr {
             socklen_t       cmsg_len;   /* data byte count, including hdr */
             int             cmsg_level; /* originating protocol */
             int             cmsg_type;  /* protocol-specific type */
     /* followed by u_char   cmsg_data[]; */

     As an example, one could use this to learn of changes in the data-stream
     in XNS/SPP, or in ISO, to obtain user-connection-request data by request-
     ing a recvmsg with no data buffer provided immediately after an accept()

     Open file descriptors are now passed as ancillary data for AF_UNIX domain
     sockets, with cmsg_level set to SOL_SOCKET and cmsg_type set to

     The msg_flags field is set on return according to the message received.
     It will contain zero or more of the following values:

           MSG_EOR       Indicates end-of-record; the data returned completed
                         a record (generally used with sockets of type
           MSG_TRUNC     Indicates that the trailing portion of a datagram was
                         discarded because the datagram was larger than the
                         buffer supplied.
           MSG_CTRUNC    Indicates that some control data were discarded due
                         to lack of space in the buffer for ancillary data.
           MSG_OOB       Returned to indicate that expedited or out-of-band
                         data was received.
           MSG_BCAST     Indicates that the packet was received as broadcast.
           MSG_MCAST     Indicates that the packet was received as multicast.

     These calls return the number of bytes received, or -1 if an error oc-

     recv(), recvfrom(), and recvmsg() fail if:

     [EBADF]       The argument s is an invalid descriptor.

     [ENOTCONN]    The socket is associated with a connection-oriented proto-
                   col and has not been connected (see connect(2) and

     [ENOTSOCK]    The argument s does not refer to a socket.

     [EAGAIN]      The socket is marked non-blocking, and the receive opera-
                   tion would block, or a receive timeout had been set, and
                   the timeout expired before data were received.

     [EINTR]       The receive was interrupted by delivery of a signal before
                   any data were available.

     [EFAULT]      The receive buffer pointer(s) point outside the process's
                   address space.

     In addition, recv() and recvfrom() may return the following error:

     [EINVAL]      len was larger than SSIZE_MAX.

     Also, recv() may return the following error:

                   The socket is associated with a connection-oriented proto-
                   col and the connection was forcefully rejected (see

     And recvmsg() may return one of the following errors:

     [EINVAL]      The sum of the iov_len values in the msg_iov array over-
                   flowed an ssize_t.

     [EMSGSIZE]    The msg_iovlen member of msg was less than 0 or larger than

     fcntl(2), getsockopt(2), poll(2), read(2), select(2), socket(2)

     The recv() function call appeared in 4.2BSD.

OpenBSD 3.4                    February 15, 1999                             3


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