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17.14. Writing a Multi-Homed Server


You want to write a server that knows that the machine it runs on has multiple IP addresses, and that it should possibly do different things for each address.


Don't bind your server to a particular address. Instead, bind to INADDR_ANY. Then, once you've accepted a connection, use getsockname on the client socket to find out which address they connected to:

use Socket;

socket(SERVER, PF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, getprotobyname('tcp'));
bind(SERVER, sockaddr_in($server_port, INADDR_ANY))
    or die "Binding: $!\n";

# accept loop
while (accept(CLIENT, SERVER)) {
    $my_socket_address = getsockname(CLIENT);
    ($port, $myaddr)   = sockaddr_in($my_socket_address);


Whereas getpeername (as discussed in Recipe 17.7) returns the address of the remote end of the socket, getsockname returns the address of the local end. When we've bound to INADDR_ANY, thus accepting connections on any address the machine has, we need to use getsockname to identify which address the client connected to.

If you're using IO::Socket::INET, your code will look like this:

$server = IO::Socket::INET->new(LocalPort => $server_port,
                                Type      => SOCK_STREAM,
                                Proto     => 'tcp',
                                Listen    => 10)
    or die "Can't create server socket: $@\n";

while ($client = $server->accept()) {
    $my_socket_address = $client->sockname();
    ($port, $myaddr)   = sockaddr_in($my_socket_address);
    # ...

If you don't specify a local port to IO::Socket::INET->new, your socket will be bound to INADDR_ANY.

If you want your server to listen only for a particular virtual host, don't use INADDR_ANY. Instead, bind to a specific host address:

use Socket;

$port = 4269;                       # port to bind to
$host = "specific.host.com";        # virtual host to listen on

socket(Server, PF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, getprotobyname("tcp"))
    or die "socket: $!";
bind(Server, sockaddr_in($port, inet_aton($host)))
    or die "bind: $!";
while ($client_address = accept(Client, Server)) {
    # ...

See Also

The getsockname function in Chapter 3 of Programming Perl and in perlfunc (1); the documentation for the standard Socket and IO::Socket modules; the section on "Sockets" in Chapter 6 of Programming Perl or perlipc (1)

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