Re: Determining IP:port corresponding to an ICMP port unreachable

From: Philippe Troin (
Date: Tue Jul 31 2001 - 11:41:43 EST

"Nadav Har'El" <> writes:

> On Mon, Jul 30, 2001, Erik De Bonte wrote about "Determining IP:port
> corresponding to an ICMP port unreachable":

> > When an ICMP port unreachable message is received and corresponds
> > to a UDP socket, is there a way to determine the corresponding
> > unreachable IP and port? I'm able to retrieve the IP, but not the
> > port. From looking through the kernel source, it appears that the
> > port is never extracted from the payload section of the ICMP
> > message. If this is indeed a limitation of the kernel, is there a
> > plan to "fix" it in the future?
> If you recvfrom (for example) on a UDP socket (which, obviously, has
> some port number) on which you sent a message previously, recvfrom
> will return (-1) (with errno=connection refused) if an ICMP port
> unreachable was received by the kernel for this port. This kind of
> error is asynchronous, in the sense that you will get it some time
> later after sending the original message (you could have sent and
> received a dozen other messages in the meantime).
> For connected()ed sockets, this behavior is indeed useful - you know
> which port sent the message, which host and port was meant to get
> that message (because the socket is connected() and only sends to
> one host/port).
> But for non-connected()ed sockets, you can only find out the host
> sending the ICMP message. Note that sometimes (e.g., with host
> unreachable errors) you don't even know the host you orignally sent
> the message to (that is burried in the IP heard inside the ICMP
> data) - only the host that sent you the error. And you don't know
> any port number (again, the port number is inside the ICMP packet,
> but you have no access to it - this is what you wrote too).
> This is why the original BSD behavior was to pass these errors only
> on connect()ed sockets. Linux decided to give those errors on
> unconnect()ed sockets - while it is usually not useful, it fits more
> closely with RFC 1122 which says in section "UDP MUST pass
> to the application layer all ICMP error messages that it receives
> from the IP layer".
> There's a discussion about this issue in Stevens' book ""UNIX
> Network Programming", section 8.9 (Elementary UDP Sockets, Server
> Not Running), page 221, and he discusses why the socket API is
> problematic in that respect.
> I think the only recourse you have (if you really want to know which
> host/port every ICMP message is about) is to listen on a raw socket, which
> you open with something like
> in_icmp=socket(AF_INET, SOCK_RAW, IPPROTO_ICMP);
> shutdown(in_icmp,SHUT_WR); /* optional (we don't intend to write) */
> And then you'll get full ICMP packets (all of them!) - and you'll
> have to pick out the ones intended for your port(s), and then take
> out the destination ip and port inside the ip header that is inside
> the ICMP packet (not the ip header of the ICMP packet itself!). This
> is rather ugly, because it requires you to understand how IP and UDP
> headers look like. Note that you need superuser permissions to
> create (but not to read) a raw socket.

Nah, on linux, use setsockopt with IP_RECVERR.
man 7 ip

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