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


     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


     #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 * restrict from,
         socklen_t * restrict fromlen);

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


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

     If from is not a null pointer and the socket is not connection-oriented, the source address
     of the message is filled in.  The fromlen argument is a value-result argument, initialized
     to the size of the buffer associated with from, and modified on return to indicate the
     actual size of the address stored there.

     The recv() function is normally used only on a connected socket (see connect(2)) and is
     identical to recvfrom() with a null pointer passed as its from argument.

     All three routines return the length of the message on successful completion.  If a message
     is too long to fit in the supplied buffer, excess 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 non-blocking (see fcntl(2)) in which case the value -1 is returned and
     the global variable errno is 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) system call may be used to determine when more data arrives.

     The flags argument to a recv() function is formed by or'ing one or more of the values:

           MSG_OOB             process out-of-band data
           MSG_PEEK            peek at incoming message
           MSG_WAITALL         wait for full request or error
           MSG_DONTWAIT        do not block
           MSG_CMSG_CLOEXEC    set received fds close-on-exec

     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
     returned.  The MSG_DONTWAIT flag requests the call to return when it would block otherwise.
     If no data is available, errno is set to EAGAIN.  This flag is not available in strict ANSI
     or C99 compilation mode.

     The recvmsg() system call uses a msghdr structure to minimize the number of directly
     supplied arguments.  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 */
             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 destination address if the socket is unconnected;
     msg_name may be given as a null pointer if no names are desired or required.  The msg_iov
     and msg_iovlen arguments describe scatter gather locations, as discussed in read(2).  The
     msg_control argument, 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 requesting a recvmsg() with no data buffer
     provided immediately after an accept() system call.

     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 SCM_RIGHTS.  The close-on-exec flag on
     received descriptors is set according to the MSG_CMSG_CLOEXEC flag passed to recvmsg().

     Process credentials can also be passed as ancillary data for AF_UNIX domain sockets using a
     cmsg_type of SCM_CREDS.  In this case, cmsg_data should be a structure of type cmsgcred,
     which is defined in <sys/socket.h> as follows:

     struct cmsgcred {
             pid_t   cmcred_pid;             /* PID of sending process */
             uid_t   cmcred_uid;             /* real UID of sending process */
             uid_t   cmcred_euid;            /* effective UID of sending process */
             gid_t   cmcred_gid;             /* real GID of sending process */
             short   cmcred_ngroups;         /* number or groups */
             gid_t   cmcred_groups[CMGROUP_MAX];     /* groups */

     If a sender supplies ancillary data with enough space for the above struct tagged as
     SCM_CREDS control message type to the sendmsg() system call, then kernel will fill in the
     credential information of the sending process and deliver it to the receiver.  Since
     receiver usually has no control over a sender, this method of retrieving credential
     information isn't reliable.  For reliable retrieval of remote side credentials it is advised
     to use the LOCAL_CREDS socket option on the receiving socket.  See unix(4) for details.

     The msg_flags field is set on return according to the message received.  MSG_EOR indicates
     end-of-record; the data returned completed a record (generally used with sockets of type
     SOCK_SEQPACKET).  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
     is returned to indicate that expedited or out-of-band data were received.


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


     The calls fail if:

     [EBADF]            The argument s is an invalid descriptor.

     [ECONNRESET]       The remote socket end is forcibly closed.

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

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

     [EMSGSIZE]         The recvmsg() system call was used to receive rights (file descriptors)
                        that were in flight on the connection.  However, the receiving program
                        did not have enough free file descriptor slots to accept them.  In this
                        case the descriptors are closed, any pending data can be returned by
                        another call to recvmsg().

     [EAGAIN]           The socket is marked non-blocking, and the receive operation 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

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


     fcntl(2), getsockopt(2), read(2), select(2), socket(2), unix(4)


     The recv() function appeared in 4.2BSD.