Provided by: libcurl4-doc_7.58.0-2ubuntu3_all bug

NAME

       libcurl-multi - how to use the multi interface

DESCRIPTION

       This  is  an  overview on how to use the libcurl multi interface in your C programs. There
       are specific man pages for each function mentioned in  here.  There's  also  the  libcurl-
       tutorial(3)  man page for a complete tutorial to programming with libcurl and the libcurl-
       easy(3) man page for an overview of the libcurl easy interface.

       All functions in the multi interface are prefixed with curl_multi.

OBJECTIVES

       The multi interface offers several abilities that the easy interface  doesn't.   They  are
       mainly:

       1.  Enable a "pull" interface. The application that uses libcurl decides where and when to
       ask libcurl to get/send data.

       2. Enable multiple simultaneous transfers in the same thread without making it complicated
       for the application.

       3.  Enable  the application to wait for action on its own file descriptors and curl's file
       descriptors simultaneously.

       4. Enable event-based handling and  scaling  transfers  up  to  and  beyond  thousands  of
       parallel connections.

ONE MULTI HANDLE MANY EASY HANDLES

       To   use   the   multi   interface,   you   must   first  create  a  'multi  handle'  with
       curl_multi_init(3). This handle  is  then  used  as  input  to  all  further  curl_multi_*
       functions.

       With  a  multi handle and the multi interface you can do several simultaneous transfers in
       parallel. Each single transfer is built up around an easy handle. You create all the  easy
       handles  you  need,  and  setup  the  appropriate  options  for  each  easy  handle  using
       curl_easy_setopt(3).

       There are two flavours of the multi interface, the select() oriented  one  and  the  event
       based  one  we call multi_socket. You will benefit from reading through the description of
       both versions to fully understand how they work and differentiate. We start out  with  the
       select() oriented version.

       When   an   easy   handle  is  setup  and  ready  for  transfer,  then  instead  of  using
       curl_easy_perform(3) like when using the easy interface for transfers, you should add  the
       easy  handle  to  the  multi  handle  with curl_multi_add_handle(3). You can add more easy
       handles to a multi handle at any point, even if other transfers are already running.

       Should you change your mind, the easy handle is again removed from the multi  stack  using
       curl_multi_remove_handle(3).  Once  removed from the multi handle, you can again use other
       easy interface functions like curl_easy_perform(3) on the handle or whatever you think  is
       necessary. You can remove handles at any point in time during transfers.

       Adding the easy handle to the multi handle does not start the transfer.  Remember that one
       of the main ideas with this interface is to let your  application  drive.  You  drive  the
       transfers  by  invoking curl_multi_perform(3). libcurl will then transfer data if there is
       anything available to transfer. It'll use the callbacks and everything else you have setup
       in  the individual easy handles. It'll transfer data on all current transfers in the multi
       stack that are ready to transfer anything. It may be all, it may  be  none.  When  there's
       nothing more to do for now, it returns back to the calling application.

       Your  application  extracts  info  from libcurl about when it would like to get invoked to
       transfer data or do other work. The most convenient way is to use curl_multi_wait(3)  that
       will  help  you  wait  until  the  application should call libcurl again. The older API to
       accomplish the same thing is curl_multi_fdset(3) that extracts fd_sets from libcurl to use
       in  select() or poll() calls in order to get to know when the transfers in the multi stack
       might need attention. Both these APIs allow for your program to wait for input on your own
       private  file  descriptors  at  the  same  time  curl_multi_timeout(3) also helps you with
       providing a suitable timeout period for your select() calls.

       curl_multi_perform(3) stores the number of still running transfers in  one  of  its  input
       arguments,  and  by  reading  that  you can figure out when all the transfers in the multi
       handles are done. 'done' does not mean successful. One or more of the transfers  may  have
       failed. Tracking when this number changes, you know when one or more transfers are done.

       To  get  information  about completed transfers, to figure out success or not and similar,
       curl_multi_info_read(3) should be called. It can return  a  message  about  a  current  or
       previous  transfer.  Repeated  invokes of the function get more messages until the message
       queue is empty. The information you receive there includes an easy  handle  pointer  which
       you may use to identify which easy handle the information regards.

       When  a  single  transfer  is  completed, the easy handle is still left added to the multi
       stack. You need to first remove the easy handle with curl_multi_remove_handle(3) and  then
       close  it  with  curl_easy_cleanup(3),  or possibly set new options to it and add it again
       with curl_multi_add_handle(3) to start another transfer.

       When  all  transfers  in  the  multi  stack  are  done,  close  the  multi   handle   with
       curl_multi_cleanup(3).   Be  careful  and  please  note  that  you  MUST  invoke  separate
       curl_easy_cleanup(3) calls for every single easy handle to clean them up properly.

       If you want to re-use an easy handle that was added to the multi handle for transfer,  you
       must  first remove it from the multi stack and then re-add it again (possibly after having
       altered some options at your own choice).

MULTI_SOCKET

       curl_multi_socket_action(3) function offers a way for applications to not only avoid being
       forced to use select(), but it also offers a much more high-performance API that will make
       a significant difference for applications using large numbers of simultaneous connections.

       curl_multi_socket_action(3) is then used instead of curl_multi_perform(3).

       When using this API, you add easy handles to the multi handle  just  as  with  the  normal
       multi  interface.  Then  you  also  set two callbacks with the CURLMOPT_SOCKETFUNCTION and
       CURLMOPT_TIMERFUNCTION options to curl_multi_setopt(3). They are  two  callback  functions
       that  libcurl  will  call  with  information  about what sockets to wait for, and for what
       activity, and what the current timeout time  is  -  if  that  expires  libcurl  should  be
       notified.

       The multi_socket API is designed to inform your application about which sockets libcurl is
       currently using and for  what  activities  (read  and/or  write)  on  those  sockets  your
       application is expected to wait for.

       Your   application   must  make  sure  to  receive  all  sockets  informed  about  in  the
       CURLMOPT_SOCKETFUNCTION callback and make sure it reacts on the given  activity  on  them.
       When  a  socket  has  the  given activity, you call curl_multi_socket_action(3) specifying
       which socket and action there are.

       The CURLMOPT_TIMERFUNCTION callback is called to set a timeout. When that timeout expires,
       your application should call the curl_multi_socket_action(3) function saying it was due to
       a timeout.

       This API is typically used with an event-driven underlying functionality  (like  libevent,
       libev,  kqueue,  epoll  or  similar)  with  which  the  application "subscribes" on socket
       changes. This allows applications and libcurl to  much  better  scale  upward  and  beyond
       thousands of simultaneous transfers without losing performance.

       When  you've  added your initial set of handles, you call curl_multi_socket_action(3) with
       CURL_SOCKET_TIMEOUT set in the sockfd argument, and you'll get callbacks  call  that  sets
       you  up and you then continue to call curl_multi_socket_action(3) accordingly when you get
       activity on the sockets you've been asked to wait on, or if the timeout timer expires.

       You can poll curl_multi_info_read(3) to see if any transfer has completed, as it then  has
       a message saying so.

BLOCKING

       A  few  areas  in  the  code  are still using blocking code, even when used from the multi
       interface. While we certainly want and intend for these to get fixed in  the  future,  you
       should be aware of the following current restrictions:

        - Name resolves unless the c-ares or threaded-resolver backends are used
        - SOCKS proxy handshakes
        - file:// transfers
        - TELNET transfers

SEE ALSO

       libcurl-errors(3), libcurl-easy(3), libcurl(3)