RECV(2)                    Linux Programmer's Manual                   RECV(2)

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

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

       ssize_t recv(int sockfd, void *buf, size_t len, int flags);

       ssize_t recvfrom(int sockfd, void *buf, size_t len, int flags,
                        struct sockaddr *src_addr, socklen_t *addrlen);

       ssize_t recvmsg(int sockfd, struct msghdr *msg, int flags);

       The recv(), recvfrom(), and recvmsg() calls are used to receive
       messages from a socket.  They may be used to receive data on both
       connectionless and connection-oriented sockets.  This page first
       describes common features of all three system calls, and then describes
       the differences between the calls.

       The only difference between recv() and read(2) is the presence of
       flags.  With a zero flags argument, recv() is generally equivalent to
       read(2) (but see NOTES).  Also, the following call

           recv(sockfd, buf, len, flags);

       is equivalent to

           recvfrom(sockfd, buf, len, flags, NULL, NULL);

       All three calls 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.

       If no messages are available at the socket, the receive calls wait for
       a message to arrive, unless the socket is nonblocking (see fcntl(2)),
       in which case the value -1 is returned and the external variable errno
       is set to EAGAIN or EWOULDBLOCK.  The receive calls normally return any
       data available, up to the requested amount, rather than waiting for
       receipt of the full amount requested.

       An application can use select(2), poll(2), or epoll(7) to determine
       when more data arrives on a socket.

   The flags argument
       The flags argument is formed by ORing one or more of the following

       MSG_CMSG_CLOEXEC (recvmsg() only; since Linux 2.6.23)
              Set the close-on-exec flag for the file descriptor received via
              a UNIX domain file descriptor using the SCM_RIGHTS operation
              (described in unix(7)).  This flag is useful for the same
              reasons as the O_CLOEXEC flag of open(2).

       MSG_DONTWAIT (since Linux 2.2)
              Enables nonblocking operation; if the operation would block, the
              call fails with the error EAGAIN or EWOULDBLOCK.  This provides
              similar behavior to setting the O_NONBLOCK flag (via the
              fcntl(2) F_SETFL operation), but differs in that MSG_DONTWAIT is
              a per-call option, whereas O_NONBLOCK is a setting on the open
              file description (see open(2)), which will affect all threads in
              the calling process and as well as other processes that hold
              file descriptors referring to the same open file description.

       MSG_ERRQUEUE (since Linux 2.2)
              This flag specifies that queued errors should be received from
              the socket error queue.  The error is passed in an ancillary
              message with a type dependent on the protocol (for IPv4
              IP_RECVERR).  The user should supply a buffer of sufficient
              size.  See cmsg(3) and ip(7) for more information.  The payload
              of the original packet that caused the error is passed as normal
              data via msg_iovec.  The original destination address of the
              datagram that caused the error is supplied via msg_name.

              The error is supplied in a sock_extended_err structure:

                  #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_NONE    0
                  #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_LOCAL   1
                  #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_ICMP    2
                  #define SO_EE_ORIGIN_ICMP6   3

                  struct sock_extended_err
                      uint32_t ee_errno;   /* Error number */
                      uint8_t  ee_origin;  /* Where the error originated */
                      uint8_t  ee_type;    /* Type */
                      uint8_t  ee_code;    /* Code */
                      uint8_t  ee_pad;     /* Padding */
                      uint32_t ee_info;    /* Additional information */
                      uint32_t ee_data;    /* Other data */
                      /* More data may follow */

                  struct sockaddr *SO_EE_OFFENDER(struct sock_extended_err *);

              ee_errno contains the errno number of the queued error.
              ee_origin is the origin code of where the error originated.  The
              other fields are protocol-specific.  The macro SOCK_EE_OFFENDER
              returns a pointer to the address of the network object where the
              error originated from given a pointer to the ancillary message.
              If this address is not known, the sa_family member of the
              sockaddr contains AF_UNSPEC and the other fields of the sockaddr
              are undefined.  The payload of the packet that caused the error
              is passed as normal data.

              For local errors, no address is passed (this can be checked with
              the cmsg_len member of the cmsghdr).  For error receives, the
              MSG_ERRQUEUE flag is set in the msghdr.  After an error has been
              passed, the pending socket error is regenerated based on the
              next queued error and will be passed on the next socket

              This 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.

              This 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

       MSG_TRUNC (since Linux 2.2)
              For raw (AF_PACKET), Internet datagram (since Linux
              2.4.27/2.6.8), netlink (since Linux 2.6.22), and UNIX datagram
              (since Linux 3.4) sockets: return the real length of the packet
              or datagram, even when it was longer than the passed buffer.

              For use with Internet stream sockets, see tcp(7).

       MSG_WAITALL (since Linux 2.2)
              This 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.  This flag has no effect for
              datagram sockets.

       recvfrom() places the received message into the buffer buf.  The caller
       must specify the size of the buffer in len.

       If src_addr is not NULL, and the underlying protocol provides the
       source address of the message, that source address is placed in the
       buffer pointed to by src_addr.  In this case, addrlen is a value-result
       argument.  Before the call, it should be initialized to the size of the
       buffer associated with src_addr.  Upon return, addrlen is updated to
       contain the actual size of the source address.  The returned address is
       truncated if the buffer provided is too small; in this case, addrlen
       will return a value greater than was supplied to the call.

       If the caller is not interested in the source address, src_addr and
       addrlen should be specified as NULL.

       The recv() call is normally used only on a connected socket (see
       connect(2)).  It is equivalent to the call:

           recvfrom(fd, buf, len, flags, NULL, 0);

       The recvmsg() call uses a msghdr structure to minimize the number of
       directly supplied arguments.  This structure is defined as follows in

           struct iovec {                    /* Scatter/gather array items */
               void  *iov_base;              /* Starting address */
               size_t iov_len;               /* Number of bytes to transfer */

           struct msghdr {
               void         *msg_name;       /* Optional address */
               socklen_t     msg_namelen;    /* Size of address */
               struct iovec *msg_iov;        /* Scatter/gather array */
               size_t        msg_iovlen;     /* # elements in msg_iov */
               void         *msg_control;    /* Ancillary data, see below */
               size_t        msg_controllen; /* Ancillary data buffer len */
               int           msg_flags;      /* Flags on received message */

       The msg_name field points to a caller-allocated buffer that is used to
       return the source address if the socket is unconnected.  The caller
       should set msg_namelen to the size of this buffer before this call;
       upon return from a successful call, msg_namelen will contain the length
       of the returned address.  If the application does not need to know the
       source address, msg_name can be specified as NULL.

       The fields msg_iov and msg_iovlen describe scatter-gather locations, as
       discussed in readv(2).

       The field msg_control, which has length msg_controllen, points to a
       buffer for other protocol control-related messages or miscellaneous
       ancillary data.  When recvmsg() is called, msg_controllen should
       contain the length of the available buffer in msg_control; upon return
       from a successful call it will contain the length of the control
       message sequence.

       The messages are of the form:

           struct cmsghdr {
               size_t cmsg_len;    /* Data byte count, including header
                                      (type is socklen_t in POSIX) */
               int    cmsg_level;  /* Originating protocol */
               int    cmsg_type;   /* Protocol-specific type */
           /* followed by
               unsigned char cmsg_data[]; */

       Ancillary data should be accessed only by the macros defined in

       As an example, Linux uses this ancillary data mechanism to pass
       extended errors, IP options, or file descriptors over UNIX domain

       The msg_flags field in the msghdr is set on return of recvmsg().  It
       can contain several flags:

              indicates end-of-record; the data returned completed a record
              (generally used with sockets of type SOCK_SEQPACKET).

              indicates that the trailing portion of a datagram was discarded
              because the datagram was larger than the buffer supplied.

              indicates that some control data was discarded due to lack of
              space in the buffer for ancillary data.

              is returned to indicate that expedited or out-of-band data was

              indicates that no data was received but an extended error from
              the socket error queue.

       These calls return the number of bytes received, or -1 if an error
       occurred.  In the event of an error, errno is set to indicate the

       When a stream socket peer has performed an orderly shutdown, the return
       value will be 0 (the traditional "end-of-file" return).

       Datagram sockets in various domains (e.g., the UNIX and Internet
       domains) permit zero-length datagrams.  When such a datagram is
       received, the return value is 0.

       The value 0 may also be returned if the requested number of bytes to
       receive from a stream socket was 0.

       These are some standard errors generated by the socket layer.
       Additional errors may be generated and returned from the underlying
       protocol modules; see their manual pages.

              The socket is marked nonblocking and the receive operation would
              block, or a receive timeout had been set and the timeout expired
              before data was received.  POSIX.1 allows either error to be
              returned for this case, and does not require these constants to
              have the same value, so a portable application should check for
              both possibilities.

       EBADF  The argument sockfd is an invalid file descriptor.

              A remote host refused to allow the network connection (typically
              because it is not running the requested service).

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

       EINTR  The receive was interrupted by delivery of a signal before any
              data was available; see signal(7).

       EINVAL Invalid argument passed.

       ENOMEM Could not allocate memory for recvmsg().

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

              The file descriptor sockfd does not refer to a socket.

       POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, 4.4BSD (these interfaces first appeared in

       POSIX.1 describes only the MSG_OOB, MSG_PEEK, and MSG_WAITALL flags.

       If a zero-length datagram is pending, read(2) and recv() with a flags
       argument of zero provide different behavior.  In this circumstance,
       read(2) has no effect (the datagram remains pending), while recv()
       consumes the pending datagram.

       The socklen_t type was invented by POSIX.  See also accept(2).

       According to POSIX.1, the msg_controllen field of the msghdr structure
       should be typed as socklen_t, but glibc currently types it as size_t.

       See recvmmsg(2) for information about a Linux-specific system call that
       can be used to receive multiple datagrams in a single call.

       An example of the use of recvfrom() is shown in getaddrinfo(3).

       fcntl(2), getsockopt(2), read(2), recvmmsg(2), select(2), shutdown(2),
       socket(2), cmsg(3), sockatmark(3), ip(7), ipv6(7), socket(7), tcp(7),
       udp(7), unix(7)

       This page is part of release 5.07 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                             2020-06-09                           RECV(2)