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PCAP_GET_SELECTABLE_FD(3)  Library Functions Manual  PCAP_GET_SELECTABLE_FD(3)



NAME
       pcap_get_selectable_fd - get a file descriptor on which a select() can
       be done for a live capture

SYNOPSIS
       #include <pcap/pcap.h>

       int pcap_get_selectable_fd(pcap_t *p);

DESCRIPTION
       pcap_get_selectable_fd() returns, on UNIX, a file descriptor number for
       a file descriptor on which one can do a select() or poll() to wait for
       it to be possible to read packets without blocking, if such a
       descriptor exists, or -1, if no such descriptor exists.  Some network
       devices opened with pcap_create() and pcap_activate(), or with
       pcap_open_live(), do not support select() or poll() (for example,
       regular network devices on FreeBSD 4.3 and 4.4, and Endace DAG
       devices), so -1 is returned for those devices.

       Note that in:

              FreeBSD prior to FreeBSD 4.6;

              NetBSD prior to NetBSD 3.0;

              OpenBSD prior to OpenBSD 2.4;

              Mac OS X prior to Mac OS X 10.7;

       select() and poll() do not work correctly on BPF devices;
       pcap_get_selectable_fd() will return a file descriptor on most of those
       versions (the exceptions being FreeBSD 4.3 and 4.4), but a simple
       select() or poll() will not indicate that the descriptor is readable
       until a full buffer's worth of packets is received, even if the read
       timeout expires before then.  To work around this, an application that
       uses select() or poll() to wait for packets to arrive must put the
       pcap_t in non-blocking mode, and must arrange that the select() or
       poll() have a timeout less than or equal to the read timeout, and must
       try to read packets after that timeout expires, regardless of whether
       select() or poll() indicated that the file descriptor for the pcap_t is
       ready to be read or not.  (That workaround will not work in FreeBSD 4.3
       and later; however, in FreeBSD 4.6 and later, select() and poll() work
       correctly on BPF devices, so the workaround isn't necessary, although
       it does no harm.)

       Note also that poll() doesn't work on character special files,
       including BPF devices, in Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, so, while select()
       can be used on the descriptor returned by pcap_get_selectable_fd(),
       poll() cannot be used on it those versions of Mac OS X.  Kqueues also
       don't work on that descriptor.  poll(), but not kqueues, work on that
       descriptor in Mac OS X releases prior to 10.4; poll() and kqueues work
       on that descriptor in Mac OS X 10.6 and later.

       pcap_get_selectable_fd() is not available on Windows.

RETURN VALUE
       A selectable file descriptor is returned if one exists; otherwise, -1
       is returned.

SEE ALSO
       pcap(3), select(2), poll(2)



                                 5 April 2008        PCAP_GET_SELECTABLE_FD(3)