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16 Sockets

This chapter describes the GNU facilities for interprocess communication using sockets.

A socket is a generalized interprocess communication channel. Like a pipe, a socket is represented as a file descriptor. Unlike pipes sockets support communication between unrelated processes, and even between processes running on different machines that communicate over a network. Sockets are the primary means of communicating with other machines; telnet, rlogin, ftp, talk and the other familiar network programs use sockets.

Not all operating systems support sockets. In the GNU library, the header file sys/socket.h exists regardless of the operating system, and the socket functions always exist, but if the system does not really support sockets these functions always fail.

Incomplete: We do not currently document the facilities for broadcast messages or for configuring Internet interfaces. The reentrant functions and some newer functions that are related to IPv6 aren't documented either so far.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire