UDP / Datagram Sockets

Datagram sockets are available through require('dgram').

dgram.createSocket([callback])

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

  • callback Function. Attached as a listener to message events.
    Optional
  • Returns: Socket object

Takes an optional callback which is added as a listener for message events.

Call socket.bind() if you want to receive datagrams. socket.bind() will
bind to the “all interfaces” address on a random port (it does the right thing
for both udp4 and udp6 sockets). You can then retrieve the address and port
with socket.address().address and socket.address().port.

Class: dgram.Socket

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

The dgram Socket class encapsulates the datagram functionality. It
should be created via dgram.createSocket(...)

Event: ‘message’

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

  • msg Buffer object. The message
  • rinfo Object. Remote address information

Emitted when a new datagram is available on a socket. msg is a Buffer and
rinfo is an object with the sender’s address information:

socket.on('message', function(msg, rinfo) {
  console.log('Received %d bytes from %s:%d\n',
              msg.length, rinfo.address, rinfo.port);
});

Event: ‘listening’

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

Emitted when a socket starts listening for datagrams. This happens as soon as UDP sockets
are created.

Event: ‘close’

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

Emitted after a socket is closed with close(). No new message events will be emitted
on this socket.

Event: ‘error’

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

  • exception Error object

Emitted when an error occurs.

socket.send(buf, offset, length, port, address[, callback])

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

  • buf Buffer object or string. Message to be sent
  • offset Integer. Offset in the buffer where the message starts.
  • length Integer. Number of bytes in the message.
  • port Integer. Destination port.
  • address String. Destination hostname or IP address.
  • callback Function. Called when the message has been sent. Optional.

For UDP sockets, the destination port and address must be specified.

If the address is omitted or is an empty string, '0.0.0.0' or '::0' is used
instead. Depending on the network configuration, those defaults may or may not
work; it’s best to be explicit about the destination address.

If the socket has not been previously bound with a call to bind, it gets
assigned a random port number and is bound to the “all interfaces” address
('0.0.0.0' for udp4 sockets, '::0' for udp6 sockets.)

An optional callback may be specified to detect for determining when it’s
safe to reuse the buf object. The only way to know for sure that the datagram
has been sent is by using a callback. If an error occurs and a callback is
given, the error will be the first argument to the callback. If a callback is
not given, the error is emitted as an 'error' event on the socket object.

With consideration for multi-byte characters, offset and length will
be calculated with respect to
byte length
and not the character position.

Example of sending a UDP packet to a random port on 127.0.0.1;

var dgram = require('dgram');
var message = new Buffer("Some bytes");
var client = dgram.createSocket("udp4");
client.send(message, 0, message.length, 41234, "127.0.0.1", function(err) {
  client.close();
});

A Note about UDP datagram size

The maximum size of an IPv4/v6 datagram depends on the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit)
and on the Payload Length field size.

  • The Payload Length field is 16 bits wide, which means that a normal payload
    cannot be larger than 64K octets including internet header and data
    (65,507 bytes = 65,535 − 8 bytes UDP header − 20 bytes IP header);
    this is generally true for loopback interfaces, but such long datagrams
    are impractical for most hosts and networks.

  • The MTU is the largest size a given link layer technology can support for datagrams.
    For any link, IPv4 mandates a minimum MTU of 68 octets, while the recommended MTU
    for IPv4 is 576 (typically recommended as the MTU for dial-up type applications),
    whether they arrive whole or in fragments.

    For IPv6, the minimum MTU is 1280 octets, however, the mandatory minimum
    fragment reassembly buffer size is 1500 octets.
    The value of 68 octets is very small, since most current link layer technologies have
    a minimum MTU of 1500 (like Ethernet).

Note that it’s impossible to know in advance the MTU of each link through which
a packet might travel, and that generally sending a datagram greater than
the (receiver) MTU won’t work (the packet gets silently dropped, without
informing the source that the data did not reach its intended recipient).

socket.bind([port][, address][, callback])

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

  • port Integer, Optional
  • address String, Optional
  • callback Function with no parameters, Optional. Callback when
    binding is done.

For UDP sockets, listen for datagrams on a named port and optional
address. If port is not specified, the OS will try to bind to a random
port. If address is not specified, the OS will try to listen on
all addresses. After binding is done, a “listening” event is emitted
and the callback(if specified) is called. Specifying both a
“listening” event listener and callback is not harmful but not very
useful.

A bound datagram socket keeps the Ruff process running to receive
datagrams.

If binding fails, an “error” event is generated. In rare case (e.g.
binding a closed socket), an Error may be thrown by this method.

Example of a UDP server listening on port 41234:

var dgram = require("dgram");

var server = dgram.createSocket("udp4");

server.on("error", function (err) {
  console.log("server error:\n" + err.stack);
  server.close();
});

server.on("message", function (msg, rinfo) {
  console.log("server got: " + msg + " from " +
    rinfo.address + ":" + rinfo.port);
});

server.on("listening", function () {
  var address = server.address();
  console.log("server listening " +
      address.address + ":" + address.port);
});

server.bind(41234);
// server listening 0.0.0.0:41234

socket.bind(options[, callback])

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

  • options {Object} - Required. Supports the following properties:
    • port {Number} - Required.
    • address {String} - Optional.
  • callback {Function} - Optional.

The port and address properties of options, as well as the optional
callback function, behave as they do on a call to
socket.bind(port, [address], [callback]).

socket.bind({
  address: 'localhost',
  port: 8000
});

socket.close([callback])

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

Close the underlying socket and stop listening for data on it. If a callback is
provided, it is added as a listener for the ‘close’ event.

socket.address()

Ruff available: v1.6.0
Ruff Lite available: v0.7.0

Returns an object containing the address information for a socket. For UDP sockets,
this object will contain address , family and port.

socket.setBroadcast(flag)

Ruff available: v1.11.2

  • flag boolean. Whether to enable or disable broadast

Sets or clears the SO_BROADCAST socket option. When set to true, UDP packets may
be sent to a local interface’s broadcast address.

If the socket has not been previously bound with a call to bind or send,
it would throw an error when this API is called.

Example of broadcasting UDP packet to network 192.168.1.0;

var dgram = require('dgram');
var message = new Buffer("Some bytes");
var client = dgram.createSocket("udp4");
client.bind(function () {
  client.setBroadcast(1);
});
client.send(message, 0, message.length, 41234, "192.168.1.255", function(err) {
  client.close();
});