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Perl Cookbook by Nathan Torkington, Tom Christiansen

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Identifying the Other End of a Socket

Problem

You have a socket and want to identify the machine at the other end.

Solution

If you’re only interested in the IP address of the remote machine, use:

use Socket;

$other_end         = getpeername(SOCKET)
    or die "Couldn't identify other end: $!\n";
($port, $iaddr)    = unpack_sockaddr_in($other_end);
$ip_address        = inet_ntoa($iaddr);

If you want its actual host name, use:

use Socket;

$other_end        = getpeername(SOCKET)
    or die "Couldn't identify other end: $!\n";
($port, $iaddr)   = unpack_sockaddr_in($other_end);
$actual_ip        = inet_ntoa($iaddr);
$claimed_hostname = gethostbyaddr($iaddr, AF_INET);
@name_lookup      = gethostbyname($claimed_hostname)
    or die "Could not look up $claimed_hostname : $!\n";
@resolved_ips     = map { inet_ntoa($_) }
    @name_lookup[ 4 .. $#ips_for_hostname ];

Discussion

For a long time, figuring out who connected to you was considered more straightforward than it really is. The getpeername function returns the IP address of the remote machine in a packed binary structure (or undef if an error occurred). To unpack it, use inet_ntoa. If you want the name of the remote end, call gethostbyaddr to look up the name of the machine in the DNS tables, right?

Not really. That’s only half the solution. Because a name lookup goes to the name’s owner’s DNS server and a lookup of an IP addresses goes to the address’s owner’s DNS server, you have to contend with the possibility that the machine that connected to you is giving incorrect names. For instance, the ...

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