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GETHOSTBYNAME(3)         BSD Library Functions Manual         GETHOSTBYNAME(3)

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

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

     #include <netdb.h>

     int h_errno;

     struct hostent *
     gethostbyname(const char *name);

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

     struct hostent *
     gethostbyaddr(const void *addr, socklen_t len, int type);

     struct hostent *

     sethostent(int stayopen);


     herror(const char *string);

     const char *
     hstrerror(int err);

     The getaddrinfo(3) and getnameinfo(3) functions are preferred over the gethostbyname(),
     gethostbyname2(), and gethostbyaddr() functions.

     The gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2() and gethostbyaddr() functions each return a pointer to an object
     with the following structure describing an internet host referenced by name or by address, respec-tively. respectively.

     The name argument passed to gethostbyname() or gethostbyname2() should point to a NUL-terminated host-name. hostname.
     name.  The addr argument passed to gethostbyaddr() should point to an address which is len bytes long,
     in binary form (i.e., not an IP address in human readable ASCII form).  The type argument specifies the
     address family (e.g. AF_INET, AF_INET6, etc.) of this address.

     The structure returned contains information obtained from mDNSResponder(8), including records in

     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 NULL-terminated array of alternate names for the host.

     h_addrtype   The type of address being returned; usually AF_INET.

     h_length     The length, in bytes, of the address.

     h_addr_list  A NULL-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 compatibility.

     When using the nameserver, gethostbyname() and gethostbyname2() will search for the named host in the
     current domain and its parents unless the name ends in a dot.

     The gethostbyname2() function is an evolution of gethostbyname() which is intended to allow lookups in
     address families other than AF_INET, for example AF_INET6.

     The herror() function writes a message to the diagnostic output consisting of the string argument
     string, the constant string ": ", and a message corresponding to the value of h_errno.

     The hstrerror() function returns a string which is the message text corresponding to the value of the
     err argument.


     Print out the hostname associated with a specific IP address:

           const char *ipstr = "";
           struct in_addr ip;
           struct hostent *hp;

           if (!inet_aton(ipstr, &ip))
                   errx(1, "can't parse IP address %s", ipstr);

           if ((hp = gethostbyaddr((const void *)&ip,
               sizeof ip, AF_INET)) == NULL)
                   errx(1, "no name associated with %s", ipstr);

           printf("name associated with %s is %s\n", ipstr, hp->h_name);

     Error return status from gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2() and gethostbyaddr() is indicated by return
     of a NULL pointer.  The integer h_errno may then be checked to see whether this is a temporary failure
     or an invalid or unknown host.  The routine herror() can be used to print an error message describing
     the failure.  If its argument string is non-NULL, it is printed, followed by a colon and a space.  The
     error message is printed with a trailing newline.

     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 local server did not receive a
                     response from an authoritative 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 address; this is not a temporary
                     error.  This means that the name is known to the name server but there is no address
                     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 registered
                     for this domain.

     getaddrinfo(3), getnameinfo(3), inet_aton(3), resolver(3), hosts(5), hostname(7), mDNSResponder(8)

     The gethostent() function is defined, and sethostent() and endhostent() are redefined, when Standard
     C Library (libc, -lc) is built to use only the routines to lookup in /etc/hosts and not the name

     The gethostent() function reads the next line of /etc/hosts, opening the file if necessary.

     The sethostent() function opens and/or rewinds the file /etc/hosts.  If the stayopen argument is non-zero, nonzero,
     zero, the file will not be closed after each call to gethostbyname(), gethostbyname2() or

     The endhostent() function closes the file.

     The herror() function appeared in 4.3BSD.  The endhostent(), gethostbyaddr(), gethostbyname(),
     gethostent(), and sethostent() functions appeared in 4.2BSD.  The gethostbyname2() function first
     appeared in BIND version 4.9.4.

     These functions use a thread-specific data storage; if the data is needed for future use, it should be
     copied before any subsequent calls overwrite it.

     Though these functions are thread-safe, still it is recommended to use the getaddrinfo(3) family of
     functions, instead.

     Only the Internet address format is currently understood.

BSD                              May 12, 2006                              BSD

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