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UNIX(4)                FreeBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual                UNIX(4)

     unix -- UNIX-domain protocol family

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

     The UNIX-domain protocol family is a collection of protocols that pro-
     vides local (on-machine) interprocess communication through the normal
     socket(2) mechanisms.  The UNIX-domain family supports the SOCK_STREAM
     and SOCK_DGRAM socket types and uses file system pathnames for address-

     UNIX-domain addresses are variable-length file system pathnames of at
     most 104 characters.  The include file <sys/un.h> defines this address:

           struct sockaddr_un {
                   u_char  sun_len;
                   u_char  sun_family;
                   char    sun_path[104];

     Binding a name to a UNIX-domain socket with bind(2) causes a socket file
     to be created in the file system.  This file is not removed when the
     socket is closed -- unlink(2) must be used to remove the file.

     The length of UNIX-domain address, required by bind(2) and connect(2),
     can be calculated by the macro SUN_LEN() defined in <sys/un.h>.  The
     sun_path field must be terminated by a NUL character to be used with
     SUN_LEN(), but the terminating NUL is not part of the address.

     The UNIX-domain protocol family does not support broadcast addressing or
     any form of ``wildcard'' matching on incoming messages.  All addresses
     are absolute- or relative-pathnames of other UNIX-domain sockets.  Normal
     file system access-control mechanisms are also applied when referencing
     pathnames; e.g., the destination of a connect(2) or sendto(2) must be

     The UNIX-domain protocol family is comprised of simple transport proto-
     cols that support the SOCK_STREAM and SOCK_DGRAM abstractions.
     SOCK_STREAM sockets also support the communication of UNIX file descrip-
     tors through the use of the msg_control field in the msg argument to
     sendmsg(2) and recvmsg(2).

     Any valid descriptor may be sent in a message.  The file descriptor(s) to
     be passed are described using a struct cmsghdr that is defined in the
     include file <sys/socket.h>.  The type of the message is SCM_RIGHTS, and
     the data portion of the messages is an array of integers representing the
     file descriptors to be passed.  The number of descriptors being passed is
     defined by the length field of the message; the length field is the sum
     of the size of the header plus the size of the array of file descriptors.

     The received descriptor is a duplicate of the sender's descriptor, as if
     it were created with a call to dup(2).  Per-process descriptor flags, set
     with fcntl(2), are not passed to a receiver.  Descriptors that are await-
     ing delivery, or that are purposely not received, are automatically
     closed by the system when the destination socket is closed.

     The effective credentials (i.e., the user ID and group list) of a peer on
     a SOCK_STREAM socket may be obtained using the LOCAL_PEERCRED socket
     option.  This may be used by a server to obtain and verify the creden-
     tials of its client, and vice versa by the client to verify the creden-
     tials of the server.  These will arrive in the form of a filled in struct
     xucred (defined in <sys/ucred.h>).  The credentials presented to the
     server (the listen(2) caller) are those of the client when it called
     connect(2); the credentials presented to the client (the connect(2)
     caller) are those of the server when it called listen(2).  This mechanism
     is reliable; there is no way for either party to influence the creden-
     tials presented to its peer except by calling the appropriate system call
     (e.g., connect(2) or listen(2)) under different effective credentials.

     UNIX domain sockets support a number of socket options which can be set
     with setsockopt(2) and tested with getsockopt(2):

     LOCAL_CREDS     This option may be enabled on a SOCK_DGRAM or a
                     SOCK_STREAM socket.  This option provides a mechanism for
                     the receiver to receive the credentials of the process as
                     a recvmsg(2) control message.  The msg_control field in
                     the msghdr structure points to a buffer that contains a
                     cmsghdr structure followed by a variable length sockcred
                     structure, defined in <sys/socket.h> as follows:

                     struct sockcred {
                       uid_t sc_uid;         /* real user id */
                       uid_t sc_euid;        /* effective user id */
                       gid_t sc_gid;         /* real group id */
                       gid_t sc_egid;        /* effective group id */
                       int   sc_ngroups;     /* number of supplemental groups */
                       gid_t sc_groups[1];   /* variable length */

                     The SOCKCREDSIZE() macro computes the size of the
                     sockcred structure for a specified number of groups.  The
                     cmsghdr fields have the following values:

                     cmsg_len = CMSG_LEN(SOCKCREDSIZE(ngroups))
                     cmsg_level = SOL_SOCKET
                     cmsg_type = SCM_CREDS

     LOCAL_CONNWAIT  Used with SOCK_STREAM sockets, this option causes the
                     connect(2) function to block until accept(2) has been
                     called on the listening socket.

     socket(2), intro(4)

     "An Introductory 4.3 BSD Interprocess Communication Tutorial", PS1, 7.

     "An Advanced 4.3 BSD Interprocess Communication Tutorial", PS1, 8.

FreeBSD 6.2                      July 15, 2001                     FreeBSD 6.2


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