Sockets without networking (understanding how sockets work)

Wednesday, April 4, 2001 - 17:30
TH 331
George Neville-Neil

This talk is a discussion of sockets and how they are implemented, illustrated with an example that requires little or no understanding of TCP/IP networking. The talk will be a code walk through of the simplest socket implementation, the Unix Address Family of sockets (AF_UNIX or AF_LOCAL). Unix sockets use file descriptors in the Unix filesystem to set up inter-process communication between two applications on the same host. The underlying implementation is quite simple to understand and makes an excellent base from which to understand and implement more complex socket types such as those for the Internet Protocols (TCP/IP).


George Neville-Neil is a Senior Member of Technical Staff and TCP/IP Architect for Wind River Networks, a division of Wind River Systems ( in Alameda, California. He has worked on and around TCP/IP network stacks for the last 5 years mostly at Wind River. He received a BS in Computer Science from Northeastern University in Boston in 1990. His research interests include Networking (at all layers of the ISO Reference Model), Operating Systems and Programming Frameworks.