17.5. Setting Up a UDP Server

Problem

You want to write a UDP server.

Solution

First bind to the port the server is to be contacted on. With IO::Socket, this is easily accomplished:

use IO::Socket;
$server = IO::Socket::INET->new(LocalPort => $server_port,
                                Proto     => "udp")
    or die "Couldn't be a udp server on port $server_port : $@\n";

Then, go into a loop receiving messages:

while ($him = $server->recv($datagram, $MAX_TO_READ, $flags)) {
    # do something
} 

Discussion

Life with UDP is much simpler than life with TCP. Instead of accepting client connections one at a time and committing yourself to a long-term relationship, take messages from clients as they come in. The recv function returns the address of the sender, which you must then decode.

Example 17.2 is a small UDP-based server that just sits around waiting for messages. Every time a message comes in, we find out who sent it and send them a message based on the previous message, and then save the new message.

Example 17.2: udpqotd

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 

udpqotd - UDP message server
use strict;
use IO::Socket;
my($sock, $oldmsg, $newmsg, $hisaddr, $hishost, $MAXLEN, $PORTNO);
$MAXLEN = 1024;
$PORTNO = 5151;
$sock = IO::Socket::INET->new(LocalPort => $PORTNO, Proto => 'udp')
    or die "socket: $@";
print "Awaiting UDP messages on port $PORTNO\n";
$oldmsg = "This is the starting message.";
while ($sock->recv($newmsg, $MAXLEN)) {
    my($port, $ipaddr) = sockaddr_in($sock->peername);
    $hishost = gethostbyaddr($ipaddr, AF_INET);
    print "Client $hishost said ``$newmsg''\n";
    $sock->send($oldmsg);
    $oldmsg = "[$hishost] $newmsg";
} 
die "recv: $!";

This program is easier using IO::Socket than the raw Socket module. We don't have to say where to send the message because the library keeps track of who sent the last message and stores that information away on the $sock object. The peername method retrieves it for decoding.

You can't use the telnet program to talk to this server. You have to use a dedicated client. One is shown in Example 17.3 .

Example 17.3: udpmsg

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# 

udpmsg - send a message to the udpquotd server

use IO::Socket;
use strict;

my($sock, $server_host, $msg, $port, $ipaddr, $hishost, 
   $MAXLEN, $PORTNO, $TIMEOUT);

$MAXLEN  = 1024;
$PORTNO  = 5151;
$TIMEOUT = 5;

$server_host = shift;
$msg         = "@ARGV";
$sock = IO::Socket::INET->new(Proto     => 'udp',
                              PeerPort  => $PORTNO,
                              PeerAddr  => $server_host)
    or die "Creating socket: $!\n";
$sock->send($msg) or die "send: $!";

eval {
    local $SIG{ALRM} = sub { die "alarm time out" };
    alarm $TIMEOUT;
    $sock->recv($msg, $MAXLEN)      or die "recv: $!";
    alarm 0;
    1;  # return value from eval on normalcy
} or die "recv from $server_host timed out after $TIMEOUT seconds.\n";

($port, $ipaddr) = sockaddr_in($sock->peername);
$hishost = gethostbyaddr($ipaddr, AF_INET);
print "Server $hishost responded ``$msg''\n";

This time when we create the socket, we supply a peer host and port at the start, allowing us to omit that information in the send .

We've added an alarm timeout in case the server isn't responsive, or maybe not even alive. Because recv is a blocking system call that may not return, we wrap it in the standard eval block construct for timing out a blocking operation.

See Also

The send , recv , and alarm functions in Chapter 3 of Programming Perl and in perlfunc (1); the documentation for the standard Socket and IO::Socket modules; the section on "UDP: message passing" in Chapter 6 of Programming Perl and in perlipc (1); Unix Network Programming ; Recipe 16.21 ; Recipe 17.4