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LISTEN(2)                DragonFly System Calls Manual               LISTEN(2)


listen -- listen for connections on a socket


Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


#include <sys/types.h> #include <sys/socket.h> int listen(int s, int backlog);


To accept connections, a socket is first created with socket(2), a willingness to accept incoming connections and a queue limit for incoming connections are specified with listen(), and then the connections are accepted with accept(2). The listen() call applies only to sockets of type SOCK_STREAM or SOCK_SEQPACKET. The backlog parameter defines the maximum length the queue of pending connections may grow to. If a connection request arrives with the queue full the client may receive an error with an indication of ECONNREFUSED, or, in the case of TCP, the connection will be silently dropped. Note that before FreeBSD 4.5 and the introduction of the syncache, the backlog parameter also determined the length of the incomplete connection queue, which held TCP sockets in the process of completing TCP's 3-way handshake. These incomplete connections are now held entirely in the syncache, which is unaffected by queue lengths. Inflated backlog values to help handle denial of service attacks are no longer necessary. The sysctl(3) MIB variable ``kern.ipc.somaxconn'' specifies a hard limit on backlog; if a value greater than kern.ipc.somaxconn or less than zero is specified, backlog is silently forced to kern.ipc.somaxconn.


When accept filtering is used on a socket, a second queue will be used to hold sockets that have connected, but have not yet met their accept filtering criteria. Once the criteria has been met, these sockets will be moved over into the completed connection queue to be accept()ed. If this secondary queue is full and a new connection comes in, the oldest socket which has not yet met its accept filter criteria will be terminated. This secondary queue, like the primary listen queue, is sized according to the backlog parameter.


The listen() function returns the value 0 if successful; otherwise the value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.


Listen() will fail if: [EBADF] The argument s is not a valid descriptor. [ENOTSOCK] The argument s is not a socket. [EOPNOTSUPP] The socket is not of a type that supports the operation listen().


accept(2), connect(2), socket(2), sysctl(3), sysctl(8), accept_filter(9)


The listen() function call appeared in 4.2BSD. The ability to configure the maximum backlog at run-time, and to use a negative backlog to request the maximum allowable value, was introduced in FreeBSD 2.2. DragonFly 5.5 November 3, 1995 DragonFly 5.5

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