The name of a socket is normally called an address. The functions and symbols for dealing with socket addresses were named inconsistently, sometimes using the term "name" and sometimes using "address". You can regard these terms as synonymous where sockets are concerned.
A socket newly created with the
socket function has no
address. Other processes can find it for communication only if you
give it an address. We call this binding the address to the
socket, and the way to do it is with the
You need be concerned with the address of a socket if other processes are to find it and start communicating with it. You can specify an address for other sockets, but this is usually pointless; the first time you send data from a socket, or use it to initiate a connection, the system assigns an address automatically if you have not specified one.
Occasionally a client needs to specify an address because the server
discriminates based on addresses; for example, the rsh and rlogin
protocols look at the client's socket address and don't bypass password
checking unless it is less than
IPPORT_RESERVED (see section Internet Ports).
The details of socket addresses vary depending on what namespace you are using. See section The File Namespace, or section The Internet Namespace, for specific information.
Regardless of the namespace, you use the same functions
getsockname to set and examine a socket's address. These
functions use a phony data type,
struct sockaddr *, to accept the
address. In practice, the address lives in a structure of some other
data type appropriate to the address format you are using, but you cast
its address to
struct sockaddr * when you pass it to
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