Book Image

Hands-On Network Programming with C

By : Lewis Van Winkle
Book Image

Hands-On Network Programming with C

By: Lewis Van Winkle

Overview of this book

Network programming enables processes to communicate with each other over a computer network, but it is a complex task that requires programming with multiple libraries and protocols. With its support for third-party libraries and structured documentation, C is an ideal language to write network programs. Complete with step-by-step explanations of essential concepts and practical examples, this C network programming book begins with the fundamentals of Internet Protocol, TCP, and UDP. You’ll explore client-server and peer-to-peer models for information sharing and connectivity with remote computers. The book will also cover HTTP and HTTPS for communicating between your browser and website, and delve into hostname resolution with DNS, which is crucial to the functioning of the modern web. As you advance, you’ll gain insights into asynchronous socket programming and streams, and explore debugging and error handling. Finally, you’ll study network monitoring and implement security best practices. By the end of this book, you’ll have experience of working with client-server applications and be able to implement new network programs in C. The code in this book is compatible with the older C99 version as well as the latest C18 and C++17 standards. You’ll work with robust, reliable, and secure code that is portable across operating systems, including Winsock sockets for Windows and POSIX sockets for Linux and macOS.
Table of Contents (26 chapters)
Title Page
About Packt


HTTP is the protocol that powers the modern internet. It is behind every web page, every link click, every graphic loaded, and every form submitted. In this chapter, we saw that HTTP is a text-based protocol that runs over a TCP connection. We learned the HTTP formats for both client requests and server responses.

In this chapter, we also implemented a simple HTTP client in C. This client had a few non-trivial tasks – parsing a URL, formatting a GET request HTTP header, waiting for a response, and parsing the received data out of the HTTP response. In particular, we looked at handling two different methods of parsing out the HTTP body. The first, and easiest, method was Content-Length, where the entire body length is explicitly specified. The second method was chunked encoding, where the body is sent as separate chunks, which our program had to delineate between.

We also briefly looked at the POST requests and the content formats associated with them.

In the next chapter, Chapter 7...