POSIX Accepting connections on a blocking socket


A C program that wishes to accept network connections (act as a "server") should first create a socket bound to the address "INADDR_ANY" and call listen on it. Then, it can call accept on the server socket to block until a client connects.

//Create the server socket
int servsock = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0);
if(servsock < 0) perror("Failed to create a socket");

int enable = 1;
setsockopt(servsock, SOL_SOCKET, SO_REUSEADDR, (char*)&enable, sizeof(int));

//Bind to "any" address with a specific port to listen on that port
int port = 12345;
sockaddr_in serv_addr;
memset(&serv_addr, 0, sizeof(serv_addr));
serv_addr.sin_family = AF_INET;
serv_addr.sin_addr.s_addr = INADDR_ANY;
serv_addr.sin_port = htons(port);

if(bind(servsock, (sockaddr*)&serv_addr, sizeof(serv_addr)) < 0)
    perror("Error binding to socket");

listen(servsock, 5);

//Accept a client
struct sockaddr_storage client_addr_info;
socklen_t len = sizeof client_addr_info;

int clientsock = accept(servsock, (struct sockaddr*)&client_addr_info, &len);

//Now you can call read, write, etc. on the client socket

The sockaddr_storage struct that gets passed to accept can be used to retrieve information about the client that connected. For example, here's how to determine the client's IP address:

char client_ip_str[INET6_ADDRSTRLEN + 1];
if(client_addr_info.ss_family == AF_INET) {
    // Client has an IPv4 address
    struct sockaddr_in *s = (struct sockaddr_in *)&client_addr_info;
    inet_ntop(AF_INET, &s->sin_addr, client_ip_str, sizeof(client_ip_str));
} else {  // AF_INET6
    // Client has an IPv6 address
    struct sockaddr_in6 *s = (struct sockaddr_in6 *)&client_addr_info;
    inet_ntop(AF_INET6, &s->sin6_addr, client_ip_str, sizeof(client_ip_str));