Provided by: freebsd-manpages_8.2-1_all bug

NAME

     listen — listen for connections on a socket

LIBRARY

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS

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

     int
     listen(int s, int backlog);

DESCRIPTION

     To accept connections, a socket is first created with socket(2), a willingness to accept
     incoming connections and a queue limit for incoming connections are specified with listen(),
     and then the connections are accepted with accept(2).  The listen() system call applies only
     to sockets of type SOCK_STREAM or SOCK_SEQPACKET.

     The backlog argument defines the maximum length the queue of pending connections may grow
     to.  The real maximum queue length will be 1.5 times more than the value specified in the
     backlog argument.  A subsequent listen() system call on the listening socket allows the
     caller to change the maximum queue length using a new backlog argument.  If a connection
     request arrives with the queue full the client may receive an error with an indication of
     ECONNREFUSED, or, in the case of TCP, the connection will be silently dropped.

     Current queue lengths of listening sockets can be queried using netstat(1) command.

     Note that before FreeBSD 4.5 and the introduction of the syncache, the backlog argument also
     determined the length of the incomplete connection queue, which held TCP sockets in the
     process of completing TCP's 3-way handshake.  These incomplete connections are now held
     entirely in the syncache, which is unaffected by queue lengths.  Inflated backlog values to
     help handle denial of service attacks are no longer necessary.

     The sysctl(3) MIB variable kern.ipc.somaxconn specifies a hard limit on backlog; if a value
     greater than kern.ipc.somaxconn or less than zero is specified, backlog is silently forced
     to kern.ipc.somaxconn.

INTERACTION WITH ACCEPT FILTERS

     When accept filtering is used on a socket, a second queue will be used to hold sockets that
     have connected, but have not yet met their accept filtering criteria.  Once the criteria has
     been met, these sockets will be moved over into the completed connection queue to be
     accept(2)ed.  If this secondary queue is full and a new connection comes in, the oldest
     socket which has not yet met its accept filter criteria will be terminated.

     This secondary queue, like the primary listen queue, is sized according to the backlog
     argument.

RETURN VALUES

     The listen() function returns the value 0 if successful; otherwise the value -1 is returned
     and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.

ERRORS

     The listen() system call will fail if:

     [EBADF]            The argument s is not a valid descriptor.

     [EINVAL]           The socket is already connected, or in the process of being connected.

     [ENOTSOCK]         The argument s is not a socket.

     [EOPNOTSUPP]       The socket is not of a type that supports the operation listen().

SEE ALSO

     netstat(1), accept(2), connect(2), socket(2), sysctl(3), sysctl(8), accept_filter(9)

HISTORY

     The listen() system call appeared in 4.2BSD.  The ability to configure the maximum backlog
     at run-time, and to use a negative backlog to request the maximum allowable value, was
     introduced in FreeBSD 2.2.