raw-socket

Raw sockets for Node.js.

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This module implements raw sockets for Node.js.

This module has been created primarily to facilitate implementation of the net-ping module.

This module is installed using node package manager (npm):

# This module contains C++ source code which will be compiled
# during installation using node-gyp.  A suitable build chain
# must be configured before installation.

npm install raw-socket

It is loaded using the require() function:

var raw = require ("raw-socket");

Raw sockets can then be created, and data sent using Node.js Buffer objects:

var socket = raw.createSocket ({protocol: raw.Protocol.None});

socket.on ("message", function (buffer, source) {
    console.log ("received " + buffer.length + " bytes from " + source);
});

socket.send (buffer, 0, buffer.length, "1.1.1.1", function (error, bytes) {
    if (error)
        console.log (error.toString ());
});

Network Protocol Support

The raw sockets exposed by this module support IPv4 and IPv6.

Raw sockets are created using the operating systems socket() function, and the socket type SOCK_RAW specified.

Raw Socket Behaviour

Raw sockets behave in different ways depending on operating system and version, and may support different socket options.

Some operating system versions may restrict the use of raw sockets to privileged users. If this is the case an exception will be thrown on socket creation using a message similar to Operation not permitted (this message is likely to be different depending on operating system version).

The appropriate operating system documentation should be consulted to understand how raw sockets will behave before attempting to use this module.

Keeping The Node.js Event Loop Alive

This module uses the libuv library to integrate into the Node.js event loop - this library is also used by Node.js. An underlying libuv library poll_handle_t event watcher is used to monitor the underlying operating system raw socket used by a socket object.

All the while a socket object exists, and the sockets close() method has not been called, the raw socket will keep the Node.js event loop alive which will prevent a program from exiting.

This module exports four methods which a program can use to control this behaviour.

The pauseRecv() and pauseSend() methods stop the underlying poll_handle_t event watcher used by a socket from monitoring for readable and writeable events. While the resumeRecv() and resumeSend() methods start the underlying poll_handle_t event watcher used by a socket allowing it to monitor for readable and writeable events.

Each socket object also exports the recvPaused and sendPaused boolean attributes to determine the state of the underlying poll_handle_t event watcher used by a socket.

Socket creation can be expensive on some platforms, and the above methods offer an alternative to closing and deleting a socket to prevent it from keeping the Node.js event loop alive.

The Node.js net-ping module offers a concrete example of using these methods. Since Node.js offers no raw socket support this module is used to implement ICMP echo (ping) support. Once all ping requests have been processed by the net-ping module the pauseRecv() and pauseSend() methods are used to allow a program to exit if required.

The following example stops the underlying poll_handle_t event watcher used by a socket from generating writeable events, however since readable events will still be watched for the program will not exit immediately:

if (! socket.recvPaused)
    socket.pauseRecv ();

The following can the be used to resume readable events:

if (socket.recvPaused)
    socket.resumeRecv ();

The following example stops the underlying poll_handle_t event watcher used by a socket from generating both readable and writeable events, if no other event watchers have been setup (e.g. setTimeout()) the program will exit.

if (! socket.recvPaused)
    socket.pauseRecv ();
if (! socket.sendPaused)
    socket.pauseSend ();

The following can the be used to resume both readable and writeable events:

if (socket.recvPaused)
    socket.resumeRecv ();
if (socket.sendPaused)
    socket.resumeSend ();

When data is sent using a sockets send() method the resumeSend() method will be called if the sockets sendPaused attribute is true, however the resumeRecv() method will not be called regardless of whether the sockets recvPaused attribute is true or false.

Constants

The following sections describe constants exported and used by this module.

raw.AddressFamily

This object contains constants which can be used for the addressFamily option to the createSocket() function exposed by this module. This option specifies the IP protocol version to use when creating the raw socket.

The following constants are defined in this object:

  • IPv4 - IPv4 protocol
  • IPv6 - IPv6 protocol

raw.Protocol

This object contains constants which can be used for the protocol option to the createSocket() function exposed by this module. This option specifies the protocol number to place in the protocol field of IP headers generated by the operating system.

The following constants are defined in this object:

  • None - protocol number 0
  • ICMP - protocol number 1
  • TCP - protocol number 6
  • UDP - protocol number 17
  • ICMPv6 - protocol number 58

raw.SocketLevel

This object contains constants which can be used for the level parameter to the getOption() and setOption() methods exposed by this module.

The following constants are defined in this object:

  • SOL_SOCKET
  • IPPROTO_IP
  • IPPROTO_IPV6

raw.SocketOption

This object contains constants which can be used for the option parameter to the getOption() and setOption() methods exposed by this module.

The following constants are defined in this object:

  • SO_RCVBUF
  • SO_RCVTIMEO
  • SO_SNDBUF
  • SO_SNDTIMEO
  • IP_HDRINCL
  • IP_OPTIONS
  • IP_TOS
  • IP_TTL
  • IPV6_TTL
  • IPV6_UNICAST_HOPS
  • IPV6_V6ONLY

The IPV6_TTL socket option is not known to be defined by any operating system, it is provided in convenience to be synonymous with IPv4

For Windows platforms the following constant is also defined:

  • IPV6_HDRINCL

Using This Module

Raw sockets are represented by an instance of the Socket class. This module exports the createSocket() function which is used to create instances of the Socket class.

The module also exports a number of stubs which call through to a number of functions provided by the operating system, i.e. htonl().

This module also exports a function to generate protocol checksums.

raw.createChecksum (bufferOrObject, [bufferOrObject, ...])

The createChecksum() function creates and returns a 16 bit one's complement of the one's complement sum for all the data specified in one or more Node.js Buffer objects. This is useful for creating checksums for protocols such as IP, TCP, UDP and ICMP.

The bufferOrObject parameter can be one of two types. The first is a Node.js Buffer object. In this case a checksum is calculated from all the data it contains. The bufferOrObject parameter can also be an object which must contain the following attributes:

  • buffer - A Node.js Buffer object which contains data which to generate a checksum for
  • offset - Skip this number of bytes from the beginning of buffer
  • length - Only generate a checksum for this number of bytes in buffer from offset

The second parameter type provides control over how much of the data in a Node.js Buffer object a checksum should be generated for.

When more than one parameter is passed a single checksum is calculated as if the data in in all parameters were in a single buffer. This is useful for when calulating checksums for TCP and UDP for example - where a psuedo header must be created and used for checksum calculation.

In this case two buffers can be passed, the first containing the psuedo header and the second containing the real TCP packet, and the offset and length parameters used to specify the bounds of the TCP packet payload.

The following example generates a checksum for a TCP packet and its psuedo header:

var sum = raw.createChecksum (pseudo_header, {buffer: tcp_packet,
        offset: 20, length: tcp_packet.length - 20});

Both buffers will be treated as one, i.e. as if the data at offset 20 in tcp_packet had followed all data in pseudo_header - as if they were one buffer.

raw.writeChecksum (buffer, offset, checksum)

The writeChecksum() function writes a checksum created by the raw.createChecksum() function to the Node.js Buffer object buffer at offsets offset and offset + 1.

The following example generates and writes a checksum at offset 2 in a Node.js Buffer object:

raw.writeChecksum (buffer, 2, raw.createChecksum (buffer));

raw.htonl (uint32)

The htonl() function converts a 32 bit unsigned integer from host byte order to network byte order and returns the result. This function is simply a stub through to the operating systems htonl() function.

raw.htons (uint16)

The htons() function converts a 16 bit unsigned integer from host byte order to network byte order and returns the result. This function is simply a stub through to the operating systems htons() function.

raw.ntohl (uint32)

The ntohl() function converts a 32 bit unsigned integer from network byte order to host byte order and returns the result. This function is simply a stub through to the operating systems ntohl() function.

raw.ntohs (uint16)

The ntohs() function converts a 16 bit unsigned integer from network byte order to host byte order and returns the result. This function is simply a stub through to the operating systems ntohs() function.

raw.createSocket ([options])

The createSocket() function instantiates and returns an instance of the Socket class:

// Default options
var options = {
    addressFamily: raw.AddressFamily.IPv4,
    protocol: raw.Protocol.None,
    bufferSize: 4096,
    generateChecksums: false,
    checksumOffset: 0
};

var socket = raw.createSocket (options);

The optional options parameter is an object, and can contain the following items:

  • addressFamily - Either the constant raw.AddressFamily.IPv4 or the constant raw.AddressFamily.IPv6, defaults to the constant raw.AddressFamily.IPv4
  • protocol - Either one of the constants defined in the raw.Protocol object or the protocol number to use for the socket, defaults to the consant raw.Protocol.None
  • bufferSize - Size, in bytes, of the sockets internal receive buffer, defaults to 4096
  • generateChecksums - Either true or false to enable or disable the automatic checksum generation feature, defaults to false
  • checksumOffset - When generateChecksums is true specifies how many bytes to index into the send buffer to write automatically generated checksums, defaults to 0

An exception will be thrown if the underlying raw socket could not be created. The error will be an instance of the Error class.

The protocol parameter, or its default value of the constant raw.Protocol.None, will be specified in the protocol field of each IP header.

socket.on ("close", callback)

The close event is emitted by the socket when the underlying raw socket is closed.

No arguments are passed to the callback.

The following example prints a message to the console when the socket is closed:

socket.on ("close", function () {
    console.log ("socket closed");
});

socket.on ("error", callback)

The error event is emitted by the socket when an error occurs sending or receiving data.

The following arguments will be passed to the callback function:

  • error - An instance of the Error class, the exposed message attribute will contain a detailed error message.

The following example prints a message to the console when an error occurs, after which the socket is closed:

socket.on ("error", function (error) {
    console.log (error.toString ());
    socket.close ();
});

socket.on ("message", callback)

The message event is emitted by the socket when data has been received.

The following arguments will be passed to the callback function:

  • buffer - A Node.js Buffer object containing the data received, the buffer will be sized to fit the data received, that is the length attribute of buffer will specify how many bytes were received
  • address - For IPv4 raw sockets the dotted quad formatted source IP address of the message, e.g 192.168.1.254, for IPv6 raw sockets the compressed formatted source IP address of the message, e.g. fe80::a00:27ff:fe2a:3427

The following example prints received messages in hexadecimal to the console:

socket.on ("message", function (buffer, address) {
    console.log ("received " + buffer.length + " bytes from " + address
            + ": " + buffer.toString ("hex"));
});

socket.generateChecksums (generate, offset)

The generateChecksums() method is used to specify whether automatic checksum generation should be performed by the socket.

The generate parameter is either true or false to enable or disable the feature. The optional offset parameter specifies how many bytes to index into the send buffer when writing the generated checksum to the send buffer.

The following example enables automatic checksum generation at offset 2 resulting in checksums being written to byte 3 and 4 of the send buffer (offsets start from 0, meaning byte 1):

socket.generateChecksums (true, 2);

socket.getOption (level, option, buffer, length)

The getOption() method gets a socket option using the operating systems getsockopt() function.

The level parameter is one of the constants defined in the raw.SocketLevel object. The option parameter is one of the constants defined in the raw.SocketOption object. The buffer parameter is a Node.js Buffer object where the socket option value will be written. The length parameter specifies the size of the buffer parameter.

If an error occurs an exception will be thrown, the exception will be an instance of the Error class.

The number of bytes written into the buffer parameter is returned, and can differ from the amount of space available.

The following example retrieves the current value of IP_TTL socket option:

var level = raw.SocketLevel.IPPROTO_IP;
var option = raw.SocketOption.IP_TTL;

# IP_TTL is a signed integer on some platforms so a 4 byte buffer is used
var buffer = new Buffer (4);

var written = socket.getOption (level, option, buffer, buffer.length);

console.log (buffer.toString ("hex"), 0, written);

socket.send (buffer, offset, length, address, beforeCallback, afterCallback)

The send() method sends data to a remote host.

The buffer parameter is a Node.js Buffer object containing the data to be sent. The length parameter specifies how many bytes from buffer, beginning at offset offset, to send. For IPv4 raw sockets the address parameter contains the dotted quad formatted IP address of the remote host to send the data to, e.g 192.168.1.254, for IPv6 raw sockets the address parameter contains the compressed formatted IP address of the remote host to send the data to, e.g. fe80::a00:27ff:fe2a:3427. If provided the optional beforeCallback function is called right before the data is actually sent using the underlying raw socket, giving users the opportunity to perform pre-send actions such as setting a socket option, e.g. the IP header TTL. No arguments are passed to the beforeCallback function. The afterCallback function is called once the data has been sent. The following arguments will be passed to the afterCallback function:

  • error - Instance of the Error class, or null if no error occurred
  • bytes - Number of bytes sent

The following example sends a ICMP ping message to a remote host, before the request is actually sent the IP header TTL is modified, and modified again after the data has been sent:

// ICMP echo (ping) request, checksum should be ok
var buffer = new Buffer ([
        0x08, 0x00, 0x43, 0x52, 0x00, 0x01, 0x0a, 0x09,
        0x61, 0x62, 0x63, 0x64, 0x65, 0x66, 0x67, 0x68,
        0x69, 0x6a, 0x6b, 0x6c, 0x6d, 0x6e, 0x6f, 0x70,
        0x71, 0x72, 0x73, 0x74, 0x75, 0x76, 0x77, 0x61,
        0x62, 0x63, 0x64, 0x65, 0x66, 0x67, 0x68, 0x69]);

var socketLevel = raw.SocketLevel.IPPROTO_IP
var socketOption = raw.SocketOption.IP_TTL;

function beforeSend () {
    socket.setOption (socketLevel, socketOption, 1);
}

function afterSend (error, bytes) {
    if (error)
        console.log (error.toString ());
    else
        console.log ("sent " + bytes + " bytes");

    socket.setOption (socketLevel, socketOption, 1);
}

socket.send (buffer, 0, buffer.length, target, beforeSend, afterSend);

socket.setOption (level, option, buffer, length)

The setOption() method sets a socket option using the operating systems setsockopt() function.

The level parameter is one of the constants defined in the raw.SocketLevel object. The option parameter is one of the constants defined in the raw.SocketOption object. The buffer parameter is a Node.js Buffer object where the socket option value is specified. The length parameter specifies how much space the option value occupies in the buffer parameter.

If an error occurs an exception will be thrown, the exception will be an instance of the Error class.

The following example sets the value of IP_TTL socket option to 1:

var level = raw.SocketLevel.IPPROTO_IP;
var option = raw.SocketOption.IP_TTL;

# IP_TTL is a signed integer on some platforms so a 4 byte buffer is used,
# x86 computers use little-endian format so specify bytes reverse order
var buffer = new Buffer ([0x01, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00]);

socket.setOption (level, option, buffer, buffer.length);

To avoid dealing with endianess the setOption() method supports a three argument form which can be used for socket options requiring a 32bit unsigned integer value (for example the IP_TTL socket option used in the previous example). Its signature is as follows:

socket.setOption (level, option, value)

The previous example can be re-written to use this form:

var level = raw.SocketLevel.IPPROTO_IP;
var option = raw.SocketOption.IP_TTL;

socket.setOption (level, option, 1);

Example Programs

Example programs are included under the modules example directory.

Bugs & Known Issues

None, yet!

Bug reports should be sent to stephen.vickers.sv@gmail.com.

Changes

Version 1.0.0 - 29/01/2013

  • Initial release

Version 1.0.1 - 01/02/2013

  • Move SOCKET_ERRNO define from raw.cc to raw.h
  • Error in exception thrown by SocketWrap::New in raw.cc stated that two arguments were required, this should be one
  • Corrections to the README.md
  • Missing includes causes compilation error on some systems (maybe Node version dependant)

Version 1.0.2 - 02/02/2013

  • Support automatic checksum generation

Version 1.1.0 - 13/02/2013

  • The net-ping module is now implemented so update the note about it in the first section of the README.md
  • Support IPv6
  • Support the IP_HDRINCL socket option via the noIpHeader option to the createSocket() function and the noIpHeader() method exposed by the Socket class

Version 1.1.1 - 14/02/2013

  • IP addresses not being validated

Version 1.1.2 - 15/02/2013

  • Default protocol option to createSession() was incorrect in the README.md
  • The session.on("message") example used message instead of buffer in the README.md

Version 1.1.3 - 04/03/2013

  • raw.Socket.onSendReady() emit's an error when raw.SocketWrap.send() throws an exception when it should call the req.callback callback
  • Added the pauseRecv(), resumeRecv(), pauseSend() and resumeSend() methods

Version 1.1.4 - 05/03/2013

  • Cleanup documentation for the pauseSend(), pauseRecv(), resumeSend() and resumeRecv() methods in the README.md

Version 1.1.5 - 09/05/2013

  • Reformated lines in the README.md file inline with the rest of the file
  • Removed the noIpHeader() method (the setOption() method should be used to configure the IP_HDRINCL socket option - and possibly IPV6_HDRINCL on Windows platforms), and removed the Automatic IP Header Generation section from the README.md file
  • Added the setOption() and getOption() methods, and added the SocketLevel and SocketOption constants
  • Tidied up the example program ping-no-ip-header.js (now uses the setOption() method to configure the IP_HDRINCL socket option)
  • Tidied up the example program ping6-no-ip-header.js (now uses the setOption() method to configure the IPV6_HDRINCL socket option)
  • Added the example program get-option.js
  • Added the example program ping-set-option-ip-ttl.js
  • Use MIT license instead of GPL

Version 1.1.6 - 18/05/2013

  • Added the beforeCallback parameter to the send() method, and renamed the callback parameter to afterCallback
  • Fixed a few typos in the README.md file
  • Modified the example program ping-set-option-ip-ttl.js to use the beforeCallback parameter to the send() method
  • The example program ping6-no-ip-header.js was not passing the correct arguments to the setOption() method

Version 1.1.7 - 23/06/2013

  • Added the htonl(), htons(), ntohl(), and ntohs() functions, and associated example programs
  • Added the createChecksum() function, and associated example program

Version 1.1.8 - 01/07/2013

  • Added the writeChecksum() function
  • Removed the "Automated Checksum Generation" feature - this has been replaced with the createChecksum() and writeChecksum() functions

Version 1.2.0 - 02/07/2013

  • Up version number to 1.2.0 (we should have done this for 1.1.8 because it introduced some API breaking changes)

Version 1.2.1 - 15/08/2013

  • Receiving Assertion '!(handle->flags & (UV_CLOSING | UV_CLOSED))' failed error after a number of pings - the underlying uv_poll_t handle was being closed twice

Version 1.2.2 - 21/09/2013

  • Using uint16_t instead of uint32_t on line 87 in src/raw.cc for a value that is out of range
  • raw::SocketWrap::pause() only uses the first argument
  • Delete uv_poll_t watcher in uv_close() OnClose callback instead of in the wrapped C++ objects deconstructor

Roadmap

In no particular order:

  • Enhance performance by moving the send queue into the C++ raw::SocketWrap class

Suggestions and requirements should be sent to stephen.vickers.sv@gmail.com.

License

Copyright (c) 2013 Stephen Vickers

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Author

Stephen Vickers stephen.vickers.sv@gmail.com

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