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Manual page for ARP(4P)

arp - Address Resolution Protocol


pseudo-device ether


#include <sys/socket.h>
#include <net/if_arp.h>
#include <netinet/in.h>

s = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, 0);


ARP is a protocol used to dynamically map between Internet Protocol (IP) and 10Mb/s Ethernet addresses. It is used by all the 10Mb/s Ethernet interface drivers. It is not specific to the Internet Protocol or to the 10Mb/s Ethernet, but this implementation currently supports only that combination.

ARP caches IP-to-Ethernet address mappings. When an interface requests a mapping for an address not in the cache, ARP queues the message which requires the mapping and broadcasts a message on the associated network requesting the address mapping. If a response is provided, the new mapping is cached and any pending message is transmitted. ARP will queue at most one packet while waiting for a mapping request to be responded to; only the most recently ``transmitted'' packet is kept.

To facilitate communications with systems which do not use ARP, ioctl() requests are provided to enter and delete entries in the IP-to-Ethernet tables.


	#include <sys/sockio.h>
	#include <sys/socket.h>
	#include <net/if.h>
	#include <net/if_arp.h>
	struct arpreq arpreq;
	ioctl(s, SIOCSARP, (caddr_t)&arpreq);
	ioctl(s, SIOCGARP, (caddr_t)&arpreq);
	ioctl(s, SIOCDARP, (caddr_t)&arpreq);

Each ioctl() takes the same structure as an argument. SIOCSARP sets an ARP entry, SIOCGARP gets an ARP entry, and SIOCDARP deletes an ARP entry. These ioctl() requests may be applied to any socket descriptor s, but only by the super-user. The arpreq structure contains:

	 * ARP ioctl request
	struct arpreq {
		struct sockaddr	arp_pa;		/* protocol address */
		struct sockaddr	arp_ha;		/* hardware address */
		int	arp_flags;		/* flags */
	/*  arp_flags field values */
	#define ATF_COM		0x2	/* completed entry (arp_ha valid) */
	#define	ATF_PERM		0x4	/* permanent entry */
	#define	ATF_PUBL		0x8	/* publish (respond for other host) */
	#define	ATF_USETRAILERS		0x10	/* send trailer packets to host */

The address family for the arp_pa sockaddr must be AF_INET; for the arp_ha sockaddr it must be AF_UNSPEC. The only flag bits which may be written are ATF_PERM, ATF_PUBL and ATF_USETRAILERS. ATF_PERM makes the entry permanent if the ioctl() call succeeds. The peculiar nature of the ARP tables may cause the ioctl() to fail if more than 6 (permanent) IP addresses hash to the same slot. ATF_PUBL specifies that the ARP code should respond to ARP requests for the indicated host coming from other machines. This allows a host to act as an ``ARP server'' which may be useful in convincing an ARP-only machine to talk to a non-ARP machine.

ARP is also used to negotiate the use of trailer IP encapsulations; trailers are an alternate encapsulation used to allow efficient packet alignment for large packets despite variable-sized headers. Hosts which wish to receive trailer encapsulations so indicate by sending gratuitous ARP translation replies along with replies to IP requests; they are also sent in reply to IP translation replies. The negotiation is thus fully symmetrical, in that either or both hosts may request trailers. The ATF_USETRAILERS flag is used to record the receipt of such a reply, and enables the transmission of trailer packets to that host.

ARP watches passively for hosts impersonating the local host (that is, a host which responds to an ARP mapping request for the local host's address).


ec.4s ie.4s inet.4f arp.8c ifconfig.8c

Plummer, Dave, ``An Ethernet Address Resolution Protocol -or- Converting Network Protocol Addresses to 48.bit Ethernet Addresses for Transmission on Ethernet Hardware,'' RFC 826, Network Information Center, SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., November 1982. (Sun 800-1059-10)

Leffler, Sam, and Michael Karels, ``Trailer Encapsulations,'' RFC 893, Network Information Center, SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., April 1984.


duplicate IP address!! sent from ethernet address: %x:%x:%x:%x:%x:%x.
ARP has discovered another host on the local network which responds to mapping requests for its own Internet address.


ARP packets on the Ethernet use only 42 bytes of data, however, the smallest legal Ethernet packet is 60 bytes (not including CRC). Some systems may not enforce the minimum packet size, others will.

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Created by unroff & hp-tools. © by Hans-Peter Bischof. All Rights Reserved (1997).

Last modified 21/April/97