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RocketLink!--> Man page versions: OpenBSD FreeBSD RedHat Others

GETHOSTBYNAME(3)          OpenBSD Programmer's Manual         GETHOSTBYNAME(3)

     gethostbyname, gethostbyname2, gethostbyaddr, gethostent, sethostent,
     endhostent, hstrerror, herror - get network host entry

     #include <netdb.h>
     extern int h_errno;

     struct hostent *
     gethostbyname(const char *name);

     struct hostent *
     gethostbyname2(const char *name, int af);

     struct hostent *
     gethostbyaddr(const char *addr, int len, int af);

     struct hostent *

     sethostent(int stayopen);


     herror(const char *string);

     const char *
     hstrerror(int err);

     The gethostbyname() and gethostbyaddr() functions each return a pointer
     to an object with the following structure describing an internet host
     referenced by name or by address, respectively.  This structure contains
     either information obtained from the name server (i.e., resolver(3) and
     named(8)),  broken-out fields from a line in /etc/hosts, or database en-
     tries supplied by the yp(8) system.  resolv.conf(5) describes how the
     particular database is chosen.

     struct  hostent {
             char    *h_name;        /* official name of host */
             char    **h_aliases;    /* alias list */
             int     h_addrtype;     /* host address type */
             int     h_length;       /* length of address */
             char    **h_addr_list;  /* list of addresses from name server */
     #define h_addr  h_addr_list[0]  /* address, for backward compatibility */

     The members of this structure are:

     h_name       Official name of the host.

     h_aliases    A zero-terminated array of alternate names for the host.

     h_addrtype   The type of address being returned.

     h_length     The length, in bytes, of the address.

     h_addr_list  A zero-terminated array of network addresses for the host.

                  Host addresses are returned in network byte order.

     h_addr       The first address in h_addr_list; this is for backward com-

     The function gethostbyname() will search for the named host in the cur-
     rent domain and its parents using the search lookup semantics detailed in
     resolv.conf(5) and hostname(7).

     gethostbyname2() is an advanced form of gethostbyname() which allows
     lookups in address families other than AF_INET, for example AF_INET6.

     The gethostbyaddr() function will search for the specified address of
     length len in the address family af. The only address family currently
     supported is AF_INET.

     The sethostent() function may be used to request the use of a connected
     TCP socket for queries.  If the stayopen flag is non-zero, this sets the
     option to send all queries to the name server using TCP and to retain the
     connection after each call to gethostbyname() or gethostbyaddr().  Other-
     wise, queries are performed using UDP datagrams.

     The endhostent() function closes the TCP connection.

     The herror() function prints an error message describing the failure.  If
     its argument string is non-null, it is prepended to the message string
     and separated from it by a colon (`:') and a space.  The error message is
     printed with a trailing newline.  The contents of the error message is
     the same as that returned by hstrerror() with argument h_errno.


     Error return status from gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2(), and
     gethostbyaddr() is indicated by return of a null pointer.  The external
     integer h_errno may then be checked to see whether this is a temporary
     failure or an invalid or unknown host.

     The variable h_errno can have the following values:

     HOST_NOT_FOUND  No such host is known.

     TRY_AGAIN       This is usually a temporary error and means that the lo-
                     cal server did not receive a response from an authorita-
                     tive server.  A retry at some later time may succeed.

     NO_RECOVERY     Some unexpected server failure was encountered.  This is
                     a non-recoverable error.

     NO_DATA         The requested name is valid but does not have an IP ad-
                     dress; this is not a temporary error.  This means that
                     the name is known to the name server but there is no ad-
                     dress associated with this name.  Another type of request
                     to the name server using this domain name will result in
                     an answer; for example, a mail-forwarder may be regis-
                     tered for this domain.

     resolver(3),  hosts(5),  resolv.conf(5),  hostname(7),  named(8)

     If the search routines in resolv.conf(5) decide to read the /etc/hosts
     file, gethostent() and other functions will read the next line of the
     file, re-opening the file if necessary.
     The sethostent() function opens and/or rewinds the file /etc/hosts. If
     the stayopen argument is non-zero, the file will not be closed after each
     call to gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2(), or gethostbyaddr().

     The endhostent() function closes the file.

     The herror() function appeared in 4.3BSD. The endhostent(),
     gethostbyaddr(), gethostbyname(), gethostent(), and sethostent() func-
     tions appeared in 4.2BSD.

     These functions use static data storage; if the data is needed for future
     use, it should be copied before any subsequent calls overwrite it.  Only
     the Internet address formats are currently understood.

     YP does not support any address families other than AF_INET and uses the
     traditional database format.

OpenBSD 2.6                     March 13, 1997                               3

Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.

(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)

[Detailed Topics]
FreeBSD Sources for gethostbyname(3) functions
FreeBSD Sources for gethostbyname(3) functions
OpenBSD sources for gethostbyname(3)

[Overview Topics]

Up to: Host, service name, and address operations - Methods and functions for doing address, host, user, and service name lookups (DNS). also Internet Assigned Numbers

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