SEND(2)                   NetBSD System Calls Manual                   SEND(2)

     send, sendto, sendmsg -- send a message from a socket

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

     #include <sys/socket.h>

     send(int s, const void *msg, size_t len, int flags);

     sendto(int s, const void *msg, size_t len, int flags,
         const struct sockaddr *to, socklen_t tolen);

     sendmsg(int s, const struct msghdr *msg, int flags);

     send(), sendto(), and sendmsg() are used to transmit a message to another
     socket.  send() may be used only when the socket is in a connected state,
     while sendto() and sendmsg() may be used at any time.

     The address of the target is given by to with tolen specifying its size.
     The length of the message is given by len.  If the message is too long to
     pass atomically through the underlying protocol, the error EMSGSIZE is
     returned, and the message is not transmitted.

     No indication of failure to deliver is implicit in a send().  Locally
     detected errors are indicated by a return value of -1.

     If no messages space is available at the socket to hold the message to be
     transmitted, then send() normally blocks, unless the socket has been
     placed in non-blocking I/O mode.  The select(2) or poll(2) call may be
     used to determine when it is possible to send more data.

     The flags parameter may include one or more of the following:

     #define MSG_OOB         0x0001 /* process out-of-band data */
     #define MSG_PEEK        0x0002 /* peek at incoming message */
     #define MSG_DONTROUTE   0x0004 /* bypass routing, use direct interface */
     #define MSG_EOR         0x0008 /* data completes record */
     #define MSG_NOSIGNAL    0x0400 /* do not generate SIGPIPE on EOF */

     The flag MSG_OOB is used to send ``out-of-band'' data on sockets that
     support this notion (e.g.  SOCK_STREAM); the underlying protocol must
     also support ``out-of-band'' data.  MSG_EOR is used to indicate a record
     mark for protocols which support the concept.  MSG_DONTROUTE is usually
     used only by diagnostic or routing programs.

     See recv(2) for a description of the msghdr structure.  MSG_NOSIGNAL is
     used to prevent SIGPIPE generation when writing a socket that may be

     The call returns the number of characters sent, or -1 if an error

     send(), sendto(), and sendmsg() fail if:

     [EBADF]            An invalid descriptor was specified.

     [ENOTSOCK]         The argument s is not a socket.

     [EFAULT]           An invalid user space address was specified for a

     [EMSGSIZE]         The socket requires that message be sent atomically,
                        and the size of the message to be sent made this

     [EPIPE]            In a connected socket the connection has been broken.

     [EDSTADDRREQ]      In a non-connected socket a destination address has
                        not been specified.

                        The socket is marked non-blocking and the requested
                        operation would block.

     [ENOBUFS]          The system was unable to allocate an internal buffer.
                        The operation may succeed when buffers become avail-

     [ENOBUFS]          The output queue for a network interface was full.
                        This generally indicates that the interface has
                        stopped sending, but may be caused by transient con-

     [EACCES]           The SO_BROADCAST option is not set on the socket, and
                        a broadcast address was given as the destination.

     [EHOSTUNREACH]     The destination for the message is unreachable.

     [EHOSTDOWN]        The destination is a host on the local subnet and does
                        not respond to arp(4).

     [EINVAL]           The total length of the I/O is more than can be
                        expressed by the ssize_t return value.

     [EAFNOSUPPORT]     Addresses in the specified address family cannot be
                        used with this socket.

     sendto() will also fail if:

     [EISCONN]          A destination address was specified and the socket is
                        already connected.

     sendmsg() will also fail if:

     [EMSGSIZE]         The msg_iovlen member of the msg structure is less
                        than or equal to 0 or is greater than {IOV_MAX}.

     fcntl(2), getsockopt(2), recv(2), select(2), socket(2), write(2)

     The send() function call appeared in 4.2BSD.

NetBSD 6.0                        May 9, 2008                       NetBSD 6.0

You can also request any man page by name and (optionally) by section:


Use the DEFAULT collection to view manual pages for third-party software.

©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <>
©1996-2015 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen