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RPCGEN(1)                   General Commands Manual                  RPCGEN(1)

     rpcgen - Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol compiler

     rpcgen infile
     rpcgen [-AaBbILMNTv] [-D name [=value]] [-i size] [-K secs] [-Y pathname]
     rpcgen -c | -h | -l | -m | -t | -Sc | -Ss [-o outfile] [infile]
     rpcgen [-s nettype] [-o outfile] [infile]
     rpcgen [-n netid] [-o outfile] [infile]

     rpcgen is a tool that generates C code to implement an RPC protocol.  The
     input to rpcgen is a language similar to C known as RPC Language (Remote
     Procedure Call Language).  rpcgen is normally used as in the first
     synopsis where it takes an input file and generates up to four output
     files.  If the infile is named proto.x, then rpcgen will generate a
     header file in proto.h, XDR routines in proto_xdr.c, server-side stubs in
     proto_svc.c, and client-side stubs in proto_clnt.c.  With the -T option,
     it will also generate the RPC dispatch table in proto_tbl.i.  With the
     -Sc option, it will also generate sample code which would illustrate how
     to use the remote procedures on the client side.  This code would be
     created in proto_client.c.  With the -Ss option, it will also generate a
     sample server code which would illustrate how to write the remote
     procedures.  This code would be created in proto_server.c.

     The server created can be started both by the port monitors (for example,
     inetd or listen) or by itself.  When it is started by a port monitor, it
     creates servers only for the transport for which the file descriptor 0
     was passed.  The name of the transport must be specified by setting up
     the environmental variable PM_TRANSPORT.  When the server generated by
     rpcgen is executed, it creates server handles for all the transports
     specified in NETPATH environment variable, or if it is unset, it creates
     server handles for all the visible transports from /etc/netconfig file.

     Note: the transports are chosen at run time and not at compile time.
     When the server is self-started, it backgrounds itself by default.  A
     special define symbol RPC_SVC_FG can be used to run the server process in

     The second synopsis provides special features which allow for the
     creation of more sophisticated RPC servers.  These features include
     support for user provided #defines and RPC dispatch tables.  The entries
     in the RPC dispatch table contain:

           + pointers to the service routine corresponding to that procedure,
           + a pointer to the input and output arguments,
           + the size of these routines

     A server can use the dispatch table to check authorization and then to
     execute the service routine; a client library may use it to deal with the
     details of storage management and XDR data conversion.

     The other three synopses shown above are used when one does not want to
     generate all the output files, but only a particular one.  Some examples
     of their usage is described in the EXAMPLES section below.  When rpcgen
     is executed with the -s option, it creates servers for that particular
     class of transports.  When executed with the -n option, it creates a
     server for the transport specified by netid.  If infile is not specified,
     rpcgen accepts the standard input.

     The C preprocessor, cpp(1) is run on the input file before it is actually
     interpreted by rpcgen For each type of output file, rpcgen defines a
     special preprocessor symbol for use by the rpcgen programmer:

     RPC_HDR   defined when compiling into header files

     RPC_XDR   defined when compiling into XDR routines

     RPC_SVC   defined when compiling into server-side stubs

     RPC_CLNT  defined when compiling into client-side stubs

     RPC_TBL   defined when compiling into RPC dispatch tables

     Any line beginning with `%' is passed directly into the output file,
     uninterpreted by rpcgen.

     For every data type referred to in infile rpcgen assumes that there
     exists a routine with the string "xdr_" prepended to the name of the data
     type.  If this routine does not exist in the RPC/XDR library, it must be
     provided.  Providing an undefined data type allows customization of XDR

     -A      Generate an svc_caller() function.

     -a      Generate all the files including sample code for client and
             server side.

     -B      Generate BSD cplusplus macros (__BEGIN_DECLS, __END_DECLS).

     -b      Compile stubs in "backwards compatible" mode, disabling support
             for transport-independent RPC.  The -b should always be specified
             when generating files for NetBSD, since there is no transport-
             independent RPC support in NetBSD.

     -c      Compile into XDR routines.

     -D name[=value]
             Define a symbol name.  Equivalent to the #define directive in the
             source.  If no value is given, value is defined as 1.  This
             option may be specified more than once.

     -h      Compile into C data-definitions (a header file).  The -T option
             can be used in conjunction to produce a header file which
             supports RPC dispatch tables.

     -I      Support inetd(8) in the server side stubs.  Servers generated
             using this flag can either be standalone or started from
             inetd(8).  If a server is started as standalone, then it places
             itself in the background, unless RCP_SVC_FG is defined, or the
             server is compiled without -I.

     -i size
             Size to decide when to start generating inline code.  The default
             size is 3.

     -K secs
             By default, services created using rpcgen wait 120 seconds after
             servicing a request before exiting.  That interval can be changed
             using the -K flag.  To create a server that exits immediately
             upon servicing a request, "-K 0" can be used.  To create a server
             that never exits, the appropriate argument is "-K -1".

             When monitoring for a server, some port monitors, like the AT&T
             System V Release 4 UNIX utility listen, always spawn a new
             process in response to a service request.  If it is known that a
             server will be used with such a monitor, the server should exit
             immediately on completion.  For such servers, rpcgen should be
             used with "-K -1".

     -L      Server errors will be sent to syslog instead of stderr.

     -l      Compile into client-side stubs.  inetd(8).

     -M      Generate thread-safe stubs.  This alters the calling pattern of
             client and server stubs so that storage for results is allocated
             by the caller.  Note that all components for a particular service
             (stubs, client and service wrappers, etc.) must be built either
             with or without the -M flag.

     -m      Compile into server-side stubs, but do not generate a main()
             routine.  This option is useful for doing callback-routines and
             for users who need to write their own main() routine to do

     -N      Use the newstyle of rpcgen.  This allows procedures to have
             multiple arguments.  It also uses the style of parameter passing
             that closely resembles C.  So, when passing an argument to a
             remote procedure you do not have to pass a pointer to the
             argument but the argument itself.  This behaviour is different
             from the oldstyle of rpcgen generated code.  The newstyle is not
             the default case because of backward compatibility.

     -n netid
             Compile into server-side stubs for the transport specified by
             netid.  There should be an entry for netid in the netconfig
             database.  This option may be specified more than once, so as to
             compile a server that serves multiple transports.

     -o outfile
             Specify the name of the output file.  If none is specified,
             standard output is used (-c -h -l -m -n -s modes only)

     -s nettype
             Compile into server-side stubs for all the transports belonging
             to the class nettype.  The supported classes are netpath,
             visible, circuit_n, circuit_v, datagram_n, datagram_v, tcp, and
             udp [see rpc(3) for the meanings associated with these classes.
             Note: BSD currently supports only the tcp and udp classes].  This
             option may be specified more than once.  Note: the transports are
             chosen at run time and not at compile time.

     -Sc     Generate sample code to show the use of remote procedure and how
             to bind to the server before calling the client side stubs
             generated by rpcgen.

     -Ss     Generate skeleton code for the remote procedures on the server
             side.  You would need to fill in the actual code for the remote

     -T      Generate the code to support RPC dispatch tables.

     -t      Compile into RPC dispatch table.

     -v      Display the version number.

     -Y pathname
             Specify the directory where rpcgen looks for the C pre-processor.

     The options -c, -h, -l, -m, -s, and -t are used exclusively to generate a
     particular type of file, while the options -D and -T are global and can
     be used with the other options.

     If the RPCGEN_CPP environment variable is set, its value is used as the
     pathname of the C preprocessor to be run on the input file.

     The RPC Language does not support nesting of structures.  As a work-
     around, structures can be declared at the top-level, and their name used
     inside other structures in order to achieve the same effect.

     Name clashes can occur when using program definitions, since the apparent
     scoping does not really apply.  Most of these can be avoided by giving
     unique names for programs, versions, procedures and types.

     The server code generated with -n option refers to the transport
     indicated by netid and hence is very site specific.

     The command

           $ rpcgen -T prot.x

     generates the five files: prot.h, prot_clnt.c, prot_svc.c, prot_xdr.c and

     The following example sends the C data-definitions (header file) to
     standard output.

           $ rpcgen -h prot.x

     To send the test version of the -DTEST, server side stubs for all the
     transport belonging to the class datagram_n to standard output, use:

           $ rpcgen -s datagram_n -DTEST prot.x

     To create the server side stubs for the transport indicated by netid tcp,

           $ rpcgen -n tcp -o prot_svc.c prot.x

     cpp(1), inetd(8)

     The -M option was first implemented in RedHat Linux, and was
     reimplemented by Charles M. Hannum in NetBSD 1.6.

NetBSD 9.99                    December 14, 2013                   NetBSD 9.99