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send, sendto, sendmsg
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Sends a message from a socket.

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

send(int s, const void *msg, size_t len, int flags);

sendto(int s, const void *msg, size_t len, int flags, const struct sockaddr *to, socklen_t tolen);

sendmsg(int s, const struct msghdr *msg, int flags);


The send() function, and sendto() and sendmsg() system calls are used to transmit a message to another socket. The send() function may be used only when the socket is in a connected state, while sendto() and sendmsg() may be used at any time.

The address of the target is given by to with tolen specifying its size. The length of the message is given by len. If the message is too long to pass atomically through the underlying protocol, the error EMSGSIZE is returned, and the message is not transmitted.

No indication of failure to deliver is implicit in a send(). Locally detected errors are indicated by a return value of -1.

If no messages space is available at the socket to hold the message to be transmitted, then send() normally blocks, unless the socket has been placed in non-blocking I/O mode. The select system call may be used to determine when it is possible to send more data.

The flags argument may include one or more of the following:

#define MSG_OOB         0x00001 /* process out-of-band data */
#define MSG_DONTROUTE   0x00004 /* bypass routing, use direct interface */
#define MSG_EOR         0x00008 /* data completes record */
#define MSG_EOF         0x00100 /* data completes transaction */
#define MSG_NOSIGNAL    0x20000 /* do not generate SIGPIPE on EOF */

The flag MSG_OOB is used to send "out-of-band" data on sockets that support this notion (e.g. SOCK_STREAM); the underlying protocol must also support "out-of-band" data. MSG_EOR is used to indicate a record mark for protocols which support the concept. MSG_EOF requests that the sender side of a socket be shut down, and that an appropriate indication be sent at the end of the specified data; this flag is only implemented for SOCK_STREAM sockets in the PF_INET protocol family. MSG_DONTROUTE is usually used only by diagnostic or routing programs. MSG_NOSIGNAL is used to prevent SIGPIPE generation (not supported by INtime) when writing a socket that may be closed.

See recv for a description of the msghdr structure.


Because sendmsg() does not necessarily block until the data has been transferred, it is possible to transfer an open file descriptor across an AF_UNIX (not supported in INtime) domain socket (see recv), then close() it before it has actually been sent, the result being that the receiver gets a closed file descriptor. It is left to the application to implement an acknowledgment mechanism to prevent this from happening.

Return Values

The call returns the number of characters sent, or -1 if an error occurred.

The send() function and sendto() and sendmsg() system calls fail if:

EBADF An invalid descriptor was specified.
EACCES The destination address is a broadcast address, and SO_BROADCAST has not been set on the socket.
ENOTSOCK The argument s is not a socket.
EFAULT An invalid user space address was specified for an argument.
EMSGSIZE The socket requires that message be sent atomically, and the size of the message to be sent made this impossible.
EAGAIN The socket is marked non-blocking and the requested operation would block.
ENOBUFS The system was unable to allocate an internal buffer. The operation may succeed when buffers become available.
ENOBUFS The output queue for a network interface was full. This generally indicates that the interface has stopped sending, but may be caused by transient congestion.
EHOSTUNREACH The remote host was unreachable.
EISCONN A destination address was specified and the socket is already connected.
ECONNREFUSED The socket received an ICMP destination unreachable message from the last message sent. This typically means that the receiver is not listening on the remote port.
EHOSTDOWN The remote host was down.
ENETDOWN The remote network was down.
EPERM The process using a SOCK_RAW socket was jailed and the source address specified in the IP header did not match the IP address bound to the prison.
EPIPE The socket is unable to send anymore data (SBS_CANTSENDMORE has been set on the socket). This typically means that the socket is not connected.


Versions Link to
INtime 4.0 netlib.lib

See Also

fcntl, getsockopt, recv, select, socket, write