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

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

          ssize_t recv(int sockfd, void *buf, size_t len

          ssize_t recvfrom(int sockfd, void *buf, size_t len
                           struct sockaddr *src_addr, socklen_t *addrlen);

          ssize_t recvmsg(int sockfd, struct msghdr *msg, int flags

          The recv(), recvfrom(), and recvmsg() calls are used to
          receive messages from a socket.  They may be used to receive
          data on both connectionless and connection-oriented sockets.
          This page first describes common features of all three sys-
          tem calls, and then describes the differences between the

          The only difference between recv() and read(2) is the pres-
          ence of flags. With a zero flags argument, recv() is gener-
          ally equivalent to read(2) (but see NOTES).  Also, the fol-
          lowing call

              recv(sockfd, buf, len, flags);

          is equivalent to

              recvfrom(sockfd, buf, len, flags, NULL, NULL);

          All three calls return the length of the message on success-
          ful completion.  If a message is too long to fit in the sup-
          plied buffer, excess bytes may be discarded depending on the
          type of socket the message is received from.

          If no messages are available at the socket, the receive
          calls wait 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 is set to EAGAIN or
          EWOULDBLOCK.  The receive calls normally return any data
          available, up to the requested amount, rather than waiting
          for receipt of the full amount requested.

          An application can use select(2), poll(2), or epoll(7) to
          determine when more data arrives on a socket.

        The flags argument

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          The flags argument is formed by ORing one or more of the
          following values:

          MSG_CMSG_CLOEXEC (recvmsg() only; since Linux 2.6.23)
               Set the close-on-exec flag for the file descriptor
               received via a UNIX domain file descriptor using the
               SCM_RIGHTS operation (described in unix(7)).  This flag
               is useful for the same reasons as the O_CLOEXEC flag of

          MSG_DONTWAIT (since Linux 2.2)
               Enables nonblocking operation; if the operation would
               block, the call fails with the error EAGAIN or
               EWOULDBLOCK.  This provides similar behavior to setting
               the O_NONBLOCK flag (via the fcntl(2) F_SETFL opera-
               tion), but differs in that MSG_DONTWAIT is a per-call
               option, whereas O_NONBLOCK is a setting on the open
               file description (see open(2)), which will affect all
               threads in the calling process and as well as other
               processes that hold file descriptors referring to the
               same open file description.

          MSG_ERRQUEUE (since Linux 2.2)
               This flag specifies that queued errors should be
               received from the socket error queue.  The error is
               passed in an ancillary message with a type dependent on
               the protocol (for IPv4 IP_RECVERR).  The user should
               supply a buffer of sufficient size.  See cmsg(3) and
               ip(7) for more information.  The payload of the origi-
               nal packet that caused the error is passed as normal
               data via msg_iovec. The original destination address of
               the datagram that caused the error is supplied via

               The error is supplied in a sock_extended_err structure:

                   #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_NONE    0
                   #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_LOCAL   1
                   #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_ICMP    2
                   #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_ICMP6   3

                   struct sock_extended_err
                       uint32_t ee_errno;   /* Error number */
                       uint8_t  ee_origin;  /* Where the error originated */
                       uint8_t  ee_type;    /* Type */
                       uint8_t  ee_code;    /* Code */
                       uint8_t  ee_pad;     /* Padding */
                       uint32_t ee_info;    /* Additional information */
                       uint32_t ee_data;    /* Other data */
                       /* More data may follow */

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                   struct sockaddr *SO_EE_OFFENDER(struct sock_extended_err *);

               ee_errno contains the errno number of the queued error.
               ee_origin is the origin code of where the error origi-
               nated.  The other fields are protocol-specific.  The
               macro SOCK_EE_OFFENDER returns a pointer to the address
               of the network object where the error originated from
               given a pointer to the ancillary message.  If this
               address is not known, the sa_family member of the
               sockaddr contains AF_UNSPEC and the other fields of the
               sockaddr are undefined.  The payload of the packet that
               caused the error is passed as normal data.

               For local errors, no address is passed (this can be
               checked with the cmsg_len member of the cmsghdr). For
               error receives, the MSG_ERRQUEUE flag is set in the
               msghdr. After an error has been passed, the pending
               socket error is regenerated based on the next queued
               error and will be passed on the next socket operation.

               This 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 nor-
               mal data queue, and thus this flag cannot be used with
               such protocols.

               This flag causes the receive operation to return data
               from the beginning of the receive queue without remov-
               ing that data from the queue.  Thus, a subsequent
               receive call will return the same data.

          MSG_TRUNC (since Linux 2.2)
               For raw (AF_PACKET), Internet datagram (since Linux
               2.4.27/2.6.8), netlink (since Linux 2.6.22), and UNIX
               datagram (since Linux 3.4) sockets: return the real
               length of the packet or datagram, even when it was
               longer than the passed buffer.

               For use with Internet stream sockets, see tcp(7).

          MSG_WAITALL (since Linux 2.2)
               This 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 returned.
               This flag has no effect for datagram sockets.

          recvfrom() places the received message into the buffer buf.

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          The caller must specify the size of the buffer in len.

          If src_addr is not NULL, and the underlying protocol pro-
          vides the source address of the message, that source address
          is placed in the buffer pointed to by src_addr. In this
          case, addrlen is a value-result argument.  Before the call,
          it should be initialized to the size of the buffer associ-
          ated with src_addr. Upon return, addrlen is updated to con-
          tain the actual size of the source address.  The returned
          address is truncated if the buffer provided is too small; in
          this case, addrlen will return a value greater than was sup-
          plied to the call.

          If the caller is not interested in the source address,
          src_addr and addrlen should be specified as NULL.

          The recv() call is normally used only on a connected socket
          (see connect(2)).  It is equivalent to the call:

              recvfrom(fd, buf, len, flags, NULL, 0);

          The recvmsg() call uses a msghdr structure to minimize the
          number of directly supplied arguments.  This structure is
          defined as follows in <sys/socket.h>:

              struct iovec {                    /* Scatter/gather array items */
                  void  *iov_base;              /* Starting address */
                  size_t iov_len;               /* Number of bytes to transfer */

              struct msghdr {
                  void         *msg_name;       /* Optional address */
                  socklen_t     msg_namelen;    /* Size of address */
                  struct iovec *msg_iov;        /* Scatter/gather array */
                  size_t        msg_iovlen;     /* # elements in msg_iov */
                  void         *msg_control;    /* Ancillary data, see below */
                  size_t        msg_controllen; /* Ancillary data buffer len */
                  int           msg_flags;      /* Flags on received message */

          The msg_name field points to a caller-allocated buffer that
          is used to return the source address if the socket is uncon-
          nected.  The caller should set msg_namelen to the size of
          this buffer before this call; upon return from a successful
          call, msg_namelen will contain the length of the returned
          address.  If the application does not need to know the
          source address, msg_name can be specified as NULL.

          The fields msg_iov and msg_iovlen describe scatter-gather
          locations, as discussed in readv(2).

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          The field msg_control, which has length msg_controllen,
          points to a buffer for other protocol control-related mes-
          sages or miscellaneous ancillary data.  When recvmsg() is
          called, msg_controllen should contain the length of the
          available buffer in msg_control; upon return from a success-
          ful call it will contain the length of the control message

          The messages are of the form:

              struct cmsghdr {
                  size_t cmsg_len;    /* Data byte count, including header
                                         (type is socklen_t in POSIX) */
                  int    cmsg_level;  /* Originating protocol */
                  int    cmsg_type;   /* Protocol-specific type */
              /* followed by
                  unsigned char cmsg_data[]; */

          Ancillary data should be accessed only by the macros defined
          in cmsg(3).

          As an example, Linux uses this ancillary data mechanism to
          pass extended errors, IP options, or file descriptors over
          UNIX domain sockets.  For further information on the use of
          ancillary data in various socket domains, see unix(7) and

          The msg_flags field in the msghdr is set on return of
          recvmsg().  It can contain several flags:

               indicates end-of-record; the data returned completed a
               record (generally used with sockets of type

               indicates that the trailing portion of a datagram was
               discarded because the datagram was larger than the
               buffer supplied.

               indicates that some control data was discarded due to
               lack of space in the buffer for ancillary data.

               is returned to indicate that expedited or out-of-band
               data was received.

               indicates that no data was received but an extended
               error from the socket error queue.

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          These calls return the number of bytes received, or -1 if an
          error occurred.  In the event of an error, errno is set to
          indicate the error.

          When a stream socket peer has performed an orderly shutdown,
          the return value will be 0 (the traditional "end-of-file"

          Datagram sockets in various domains (e.g., the UNIX and
          Internet domains) permit zero-length datagrams.  When such a
          datagram is received, the return value is 0.

          The value 0 may also be returned if the requested number of
          bytes to receive from a stream socket was 0.

          These are some standard errors generated by the socket
          layer.  Additional errors may be generated and returned from
          the underlying protocol modules; see their manual pages.

               The socket is marked nonblocking and the receive opera-
               tion would block, or a receive timeout had been set and
               the timeout expired before data was received.  POSIX.1
               allows either error to be returned for this case, and
               does not require these constants to have the same
               value, so a portable application should check for both

               The argument sockfd is an invalid file descriptor.

               A remote host refused to allow the network connection
               (typically because it is not running the requested ser-

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

               The receive was interrupted by delivery of a signal
               before any data was available; see signal(7).

               Invalid argument passed.

               Could not allocate memory for recvmsg().

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               The socket is associated with a connection-oriented
               protocol and has not been connected (see connect(2) and

               The file descriptor sockfd does not refer to a socket.

          POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, 4.4BSD (these interfaces first
          appeared in 4.2BSD).

          POSIX.1 describes only the MSG_OOB, MSG_PEEK, and
          MSG_WAITALL flags.

          If a zero-length datagram is pending, read(2) and recv()
          with a flags argument of zero provide different behavior.
          In this circumstance, read(2) has no effect (the datagram
          remains pending), while recv() consumes the pending data-

          The socklen_t type was invented by POSIX.  See also

          According to POSIX.1, the msg_controllen field of the msghdr
          structure should be typed as socklen_t, and the msg_iovlen
          field should be typed as int, but glibc currently types both
          as size_t.

          See recvmmsg(2) for information about a Linux-specific sys-
          tem call that can be used to receive multiple datagrams in a
          single call.

          An example of the use of recvfrom() is shown in

          fcntl(2), getsockopt(2), read(2), recvmmsg(2), select(2),
          shutdown(2), socket(2), cmsg(3), sockatmark(3), ip(7),
          ipv6(7), socket(7), tcp(7), udp(7), unix(7)

          This page is part of release 5.10 of the Linux man-pages
          project.  A description of the project, information about
          reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be
          found at

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