RAW(7) Linux Programmer's Manual RAW(7)
raw - Linux IPv4 raw sockets
raw_socket = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_RAW, int protocol);
Raw sockets allow new IPv4 protocols to be implemented in user space.
A raw socket receives or sends the raw datagram not including link
The IPv4 layer generates an IP header when sending a packet unless the
IP_HDRINCL socket option is enabled on the socket. When it is enabled,
the packet must contain an IP header. For receiving, the IP header is
always included in the packet.
In order to create a raw socket, a process must have the CAP_NET_RAW
capability in the user namespace that governs its network namespace.
All packets or errors matching the protocol number specified for the
raw socket are passed to this socket. For a list of the allowed proto‐
cols, see the IANA list of assigned protocol numbers at
⟨http://www.iana.org/assignments/protocol-numbers/⟩ and getprotoby‐
A protocol of IPPROTO_RAW implies enabled IP_HDRINCL and is able to
send any IP protocol that is specified in the passed header. Receiving
of all IP protocols via IPPROTO_RAW is not possible using raw sockets.
│IP Header fields modified on sending by IP_HDRINCL │
│IP Checksum │ Always filled in │
│Source Address │ Filled in when zero │
│Packet ID │ Filled in when zero │
│Total Length │ Always filled in │
If IP_HDRINCL is specified and the IP header has a nonzero destination
address, then the destination address of the socket is used to route
the packet. When MSG_DONTROUTE is specified, the destination address
should refer to a local interface, otherwise a routing table lookup is
done anyway but gatewayed routes are ignored.
If IP_HDRINCL isn't set, then IP header options can be set on raw sock‐
ets with setsockopt(2); see ip(7) for more information.
Starting with Linux 2.2, all IP header fields and options can be set
using IP socket options. This means raw sockets are usually needed
only for new protocols or protocols with no user interface (like ICMP).
When a packet is received, it is passed to any raw sockets which have
been bound to its protocol before it is passed to other protocol han‐
dlers (e.g., kernel protocol modules).
For sending and receiving datagrams (sendto(2), recvfrom(2), and simi‐
lar), raw sockets use the standard sockaddr_in address structure de‐
fined in ip(7). The sin_port field could be used to specify the IP
protocol number, but it is ignored for sending in Linux 2.2 and later,
and should be always set to 0 (see BUGS). For incoming packets,
sin_port is set to zero.
Raw socket options can be set with setsockopt(2) and read with getsock‐
opt(2) by passing the IPPROTO_RAW family flag.
Enable a special filter for raw sockets bound to the IP‐
PROTO_ICMP protocol. The value has a bit set for each ICMP mes‐
sage type which should be filtered out. The default is to fil‐
ter no ICMP messages.
In addition, all ip(7) IPPROTO_IP socket options valid for datagram
sockets are supported.
Errors originating from the network are passed to the user only when
the socket is connected or the IP_RECVERR flag is enabled. For con‐
nected sockets, only EMSGSIZE and EPROTO are passed for compatibility.
With IP_RECVERR, all network errors are saved in the error queue.
EACCES User tried to send to a broadcast address without having the
broadcast flag set on the socket.
EFAULT An invalid memory address was supplied.
EINVAL Invalid argument.
Packet too big. Either Path MTU Discovery is enabled (the
IP_MTU_DISCOVER socket flag) or the packet size exceeds the max‐
imum allowed IPv4 packet size of 64 kB.
Invalid flag has been passed to a socket call (like MSG_OOB).
EPERM The user doesn't have permission to open raw sockets. Only pro‐
cesses with an effective user ID of 0 or the CAP_NET_RAW attri‐
bute may do that.
EPROTO An ICMP error has arrived reporting a parameter problem.
IP_RECVERR and ICMP_FILTER are new in Linux 2.2. They are Linux exten‐
sions and should not be used in portable programs.
Linux 2.0 enabled some bug-to-bug compatibility with BSD in the raw
socket code when the SO_BSDCOMPAT socket option was set; since Linux
2.2, this option no longer has that effect.
By default, raw sockets do path MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) discov‐
ery. This means the kernel will keep track of the MTU to a specific
target IP address and return EMSGSIZE when a raw packet write exceeds
it. When this happens, the application should decrease the packet
size. Path MTU discovery can be also turned off using the IP_MTU_DIS‐
COVER socket option or the /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_no_pmtu_disc file, see
ip(7) for details. When turned off, raw sockets will fragment outgoing
packets that exceed the interface MTU. However, disabling it is not
recommended for performance and reliability reasons.
A raw socket can be bound to a specific local address using the bind(2)
call. If it isn't bound, all packets with the specified IP protocol
are received. In addition, a raw socket can be bound to a specific
network device using SO_BINDTODEVICE; see socket(7).
An IPPROTO_RAW socket is send only. If you really want to receive all
IP packets, use a packet(7) socket with the ETH_P_IP protocol. Note
that packet sockets don't reassemble IP fragments, unlike raw sockets.
If you want to receive all ICMP packets for a datagram socket, it is
often better to use IP_RECVERR on that particular socket; see ip(7).
Raw sockets may tap all IP protocols in Linux, even protocols like ICMP
or TCP which have a protocol module in the kernel. In this case, the
packets are passed to both the kernel module and the raw socket(s).
This should not be relied upon in portable programs, many other BSD
socket implementation have limitations here.
Linux never changes headers passed from the user (except for filling in
some zeroed fields as described for IP_HDRINCL). This differs from
many other implementations of raw sockets.
Raw sockets are generally rather unportable and should be avoided in
programs intended to be portable.
Sending on raw sockets should take the IP protocol from sin_port; this
ability was lost in Linux 2.2. The workaround is to use IP_HDRINCL.
Transparent proxy extensions are not described.
When the IP_HDRINCL option is set, datagrams will not be fragmented and
are limited to the interface MTU.
Setting the IP protocol for sending in sin_port got lost in Linux 2.2.
The protocol that the socket was bound to or that was specified in the
initial socket(2) call is always used.
recvmsg(2), sendmsg(2), capabilities(7), ip(7), socket(7)
RFC 1191 for path MTU discovery. RFC 791 and the <linux/ip.h> header
file for the IP protocol.
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Linux 2020-08-13 RAW(7)