How to get multiple local IP addresses without gethostbyname()

Posted on 2004-09-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14

I am looking for a way to resolve all IP addresses on a local Unix/Linux system without using gethostbyname, since it has proven unable. For me, gethostbyname returns only one IP while ifconfig -a displays two. I have read that gethostbyname can be fixed through config files, but that is not a solution to me since I am not interested in altering a system’s configurations just to be able to run my program on it. However I have read about the function ioctl, which can be called with SIOCGIFADDR and return an IP. But the problem here is that I have to input interface names which can vary from system to system. So is it possible to enumerate all interface names and thereby resolve all IPs?

Any ideas are highly appreciated.
Question by:Aidman
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Expert Comment

ID: 12034038
Hi Aidman,

You can launch ifconfig from your rpgram to gather the names of all the interfaces and get their IP addresses using the ioctl

#include <stdio.h>
#include <net/if.h>
#include <sys/ioctl.h>
#include <netinet/in.h>

#define IFNAME "ppp0"
  int fd;
  struct ifreq ifr;
  u_char *addr;

  memset (&ifr, 0, sizeof (struct ifreq));
  strcpy (ifr.ifr_name, IFNAME);
  ifr.ifr_addr.sa_family = AF_INET;
  ioctl(fd, SIOCGIFADDR, &ifr);
  addr=(u_char*)&(((struct sockaddr_in * )&ifr.ifr_addr)->sin_addr);
  printf("eth %s, addr %d.%d.%d.%d\n", ifr.ifr_name,addr[0],addr[1],addr[2],addr[3]);

The code was written by scn here


Author Comment

ID: 12034096
>You can launch ifconfig from your rpgram to gather the names of all the interfaces and get their IP addresses using the ioctl

Thats seems very difficult to program (since the user should not be aware of it) and also there is the problem that all users don't have access to ifconfig, and if they do it isn't a guaranty that the command is pathed for the terminal. I for instance have to write /sbin/ifconfig

Author Comment

ID: 12034118
I probably should point out that the process of gathering all IPs should not require any help or involvement from the user.

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LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 12034405
>Thats seems very difficult to program
Its easy

p = popen ("/sbin/ifconfig", "r")

now read from p and parse the results ...

ofcourse you will need superuser permissions for this ... Are you planning to be able to extract all IP and interface information as an unpriviledged user? I do not think that will be possible, I will try to look though

Author Comment

ID: 12034603
I found an very interesting function which seems to solve my problem, getifaddrs().
But when I try to compile gcc complains about not finding the function’s header ifaddrs.h
It could be because it’s written for FreeBSD, but if so then there should be an equivalent function for my system also.

Accepted Solution

bsnh99 earned 1000 total points
ID: 12036707
Check this out:


Note use of SIOCGIFCONF to get the list of interfaces. This program will also list multiple IP addresses configured on a single interface.

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