GETSOCKOPT(2) Linux Programmer's Manual GETSOCKOPT(2)
getsockopt, setsockopt - get and set options on sockets
#include <sys/types.h> /* See NOTES */
int getsockopt(int sockfd, int level, int optname,
void *optval, socklen_t *optlen);
int setsockopt(int sockfd, int level, int optname,
const void *optval, socklen_t optlen);
getsockopt() and setsockopt() manipulate options for the socket
referred to by the file descriptor sockfd. Options may exist at multi‐
ple protocol levels; they are always present at the uppermost socket
When manipulating socket options, the level at which the option resides
and the name of the option must be specified. To manipulate options at
the sockets API level, level is specified as SOL_SOCKET. To manipulate
options at any other level the protocol number of the appropriate pro‐
tocol controlling the option is supplied. For example, to indicate
that an option is to be interpreted by the TCP protocol, level should
be set to the protocol number of TCP; see getprotoent(3).
The arguments optval and optlen are used to access option values for
setsockopt(). For getsockopt() they identify a buffer in which the
value for the requested option(s) are to be returned. For getsock‐
opt(), optlen is a value-result argument, initially containing the size
of the buffer pointed to by optval, and modified on return to indicate
the actual size of the value returned. If no option value is to be
supplied or returned, optval may be NULL.
Optname and any specified options are passed uninterpreted to the
appropriate protocol module for interpretation. The include file
<sys/socket.h> contains definitions for socket level options, described
below. Options at other protocol levels vary in format and name; con‐
sult the appropriate entries in section 4 of the manual.
Most socket-level options utilize an int argument for optval. For set‐
sockopt(), the argument should be non-zero to enable a boolean option,
or zero if the option is to be disabled.
For a description of the available socket options see socket(7) and the
appropriate protocol man pages.
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is
EBADF The argument sockfd is not a valid descriptor.
EFAULT The address pointed to by optval is not in a valid part of
the process address space. For getsockopt(), this error may
also be returned if optlen is not in a valid part of the
process address space.
EINVAL optlen invalid in setsockopt(). In some cases this error can
also occur for an invalid value in optval (e.g., for the
IP_ADD_MEMBERSHIP option described in ip(7)).
The option is unknown at the level indicated.
ENOTSOCK The argument sockfd is a file, not a socket.
SVr4, 4.4BSD (these system calls first appeared in 4.2BSD),
POSIX.1-2001 does not require the inclusion of <sys/types.h>, and this
header file is not required on Linux. However, some historical (BSD)
implementations required this header file, and portable applications
are probably wise to include it.
The optlen argument of getsockopt() and setsockopt() is in reality an
int [*] (and this is what 4.x BSD and libc4 and libc5 have). Some
POSIX confusion resulted in the present socklen_t, also used by glibc.
See also accept(2).
Several of the socket options should be handled at lower levels of the
ioctl(2), socket(2), getprotoent(3), protocols(5), socket(7), tcp(7),
This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
Linux 2008-12-03 GETSOCKOPT(2)