rpcgen(1) User Commands rpcgen(1)
rpcgen - an RPC protocol compiler
rpcgen [-a] [-A] [-b] [-C] [ -D name [ = value]] [-i size] [ -I
[-K seconds]] [-L] [-M] [-N] [- T] [-v] [-Y pathname] infile
rpcgen [-c | -h | -l | -m | -t | -Sc | -Ss | -Sm] [-o outfile]
rpcgen [-s nettype] [-o outfile] [infile]
rpcgen [-n netid] [-o outfile] [infile]
The rpcgen utility is a tool that generates C code to implement an RPC
protocol. The input to rpcgen is a language similar to C known as RPC
Language (Remote Procedure Call Language).
The rpcgen utility is normally used as in the first synopsis where it
takes an input file and generates three output files. If the infile is
named proto.x, then rpcgen generates a header in proto.h, XDR routines
in proto_xdr.c, server-side stubs in proto_svc.c, and client-side stubs
in proto_clnt.c. With the -T option, it also generates the RPC dispatch
table in proto_tbl.i.
rpcgen can also generate sample client and server files that can be
customized to suit a particular application. The -Sc, -Ss, and -Sm
options generate sample client, server and makefile, respectively. The
-a option generates all files, including sample files. If the infile is
proto.x, then the client side sample file is written to proto_client.c,
the server side sample file to proto_server.c and the sample makefile
The server created can be started both by the port monitors (for exam-
ple, inetd or listen) or by itself. When it is started by a port moni-
tor, it creates servers only for the transport for which the file
descriptor 0 was passed. The name of the transport must be specified by
setting up the environment variable PM_TRANSPORT. When the server gen-
erated by rpcgen is executed, it creates server handles for all the
transports specified in the NETPATH environment variable, or if it is
unset, it creates server handles for all the visible transports from
the /etc/netconfig file. Note: the transports are chosen at run time
and not at compile time. When the server is self-started, it back-
grounds itself by default. A special define symbol RPC_SVC_FG can be
used to run the server process in foreground.
The second synopsis provides special features which allow for the cre-
ation of more sophisticated RPC servers. These features include support
for user-provided #defines and RPC dispatch tables. The entries in the
RPC dispatch table contain:
o pointers to the service routine corresponding to that procedure
o a pointer to the input and output arguments
o the size of these routines
A server can use the dispatch table to check authorization and then to
execute the service routine. A client library may use the dispatch ta-
ble to deal with the details of storage management and XDR data conver-
The other three synopses shown above are used when one does not want to
generate all the output files, but only a particular one. See the EXAM-
PLES section below for examples of rpcgen usage. When rpcgen is exe-
cuted with the -s option, it creates servers for that particular class
of transports. When executed with the -n option, it creates a server
for the transport specified by netid. If infile is not specified, rpc-
gen accepts the standard input.
All the options mentioned in the second synopsis can be used with the
other three synopses, but the changes will be made only to the speci-
fied output file.
The C preprocessor cc -E is run on the input file before it is actually
interpreted by rpcgen. For each type of output file, rpcgen defines a
special preprocessor symbol for use by the rpcgen programmer:
RPC_HDR defined when compiling into headers
RPC_XDR defined when compiling into XDR routines
RPC_SVC defined when compiling into server-side stubs
RPC_CLNT defined when compiling into client-side stubs
RPC_TBL defined when compiling into RPC dispatch tables
Any line beginning with ``%'' is passed directly into the output file,
uninterpreted by rpcgen, except that the leading ``%" is stripped off.
To specify the path name of the C preprocessor, use the -Y flag.
For every data type referred to in infile, rpcgen assumes that there
exists a routine with the string xdr_ prepended to the name of the data
type. If this routine does not exist in the RPC/XDR library, it must be
provided. Providing an undefined data type allows customization of XDR
The following options are supported:
-a Generates all files, including sample files.
-A Enables the Automatic MT mode in the server main pro-
gram. In this mode, the RPC library automatically cre-
ates threads to service client requests. This option
generates multithread-safe stubs by implicitly turning
on the -M option. Server multithreading modes and
parameters can be set using the rpc_control(3NSL) call.
rpcgen generated code does not change the default val-
ues for the Automatic MT mode.
-b Backward compatibility mode. Generates transport-spe-
cific RPC code for older versions of the operating sys-
-c Compiles into XDR routines.
-C Generates header and stub files which can be used with
ANSI C compilers. Headers generated with this flag can
also be used with C++ programs.
-Dname[=value] Defines a symbol name. Equivalent to the #define direc-
tive in the source. If no value is given, value is
defined as 1. This option may be specified more than
-h Compiles into C data-definitions (a header). The -T
option can be used in conjunction to produce a header
which supports RPC dispatch tables.
-i size Size at which to start generating inline code. This
option is useful for optimization. The default size is
-I Compiles support for inetd(1M) in the server side
stubs. Such servers can be self-started or can be
started by inetd. When the server is self-started, it
backgrounds itself by default. A special define symbol
RPC_SVC_FG can be used to run the server process in
foreground, or the user may simply compile without the
If there are no pending client requests, the inetd
servers exit after 120 seconds (default). The default
can be changed with the -K option. All of the error
messages for inetd servers are always logged with sys-
Note: This option is supported for backward compatibil-
ity only. It should always be used in conjunction with
the -b option which generates backward compatibility
code. By default (that is, when -b is not specified),
rpcgen generates servers that can be invoked through
-K seconds By default, services created using rpcgen and invoked
through port monitors wait 120 seconds after servicing
a request before exiting. That interval can be changed
using the -K flag. To create a server that exits imme-
diately upon servicing a request, use -K 0. To create
a server that never exits, the appropriate argument is
When monitoring for a server, some portmonitors, like
listen(1M), always spawn a new process in response to a
service request. If it is known that a server will be
used with such a monitor, the server should exit imme-
diately on completion. For such servers, rpcgen should
be used with -K 0.
-l Compiles into client-side stubs.
-L When the servers are started in foreground, uses sys-
log(3C) to log the server errors instead of printing
them on the standard error.
-m Compiles into server-side stubs, but do not generate a
"main" routine. This option is useful for doing call-
back-routines and for users who need to write their
own "main" routine to do initialization.
-M Generates multithread-safe stubs for passing arguments
and results between rpcgen-generated code and user
written code. This option is useful for users who want
to use threads in their code.
-N This option allows procedures to have multiple argu-
ments. It also uses the style of parameter passing that
closely resembles C. So, when passing an argument to a
remote procedure, you do not have to pass a pointer to
the argument, but can pass the argument itself. This
behavior is different from the old style of rpcgen-gen-
erated code. To maintain backward compatibility, this
option is not the default.
-n netid Compiles into server-side stubs for the transport spec-
ified by netid. There should be an entry for netid in
the netconfig database. This option may be specified
more than once, so as to compile a server that serves
-o outfile Specifies the name of the output file. If none is spec-
ified, standard output is used (-c, -h, -l, -m, -n, -s,
-Sc, -Sm, -Ss, and -t modes only).
-s nettype Compiles into server-side stubs for all the transports
belonging to the class nettype. The supported classes
are netpath, visible, circuit_n, circuit_v, datagram_n,
datagram_v, tcp, and udp (see rpc(3NSL) for the mean-
ings associated with these classes). This option may be
specified more than once. Note: The transports are cho-
sen at run time and not at compile time.
-Sc Generates sample client code that uses remote procedure
-Sm Generates a sample Makefile which can be used for com-
piling the application.
-Ss Generates sample server code that uses remote procedure
-t Compiles into RPC dispatch table.
-T Generates the code to support RPC dispatch tables.
The options -c, -h, -l, -m, -s, -Sc, -Sm, -Ss, and -t
are used exclusively to generate a particular type of
file, while the options -D and -T are global and can be
used with the other options.
-v Displays the version number.
-Y pathname Gives the name of the directory where rpcgen will
start looking for the C preprocessor.
The following operand is supported:
infile input file
Example 1: Generating the output files and dispatch table
The following entry
example% rpcgen -T prot.x
generates all the five files: prot.h, prot_clnt.c, prot_svc.c,
prot_xdr.c, and prot_tbl.i.
Example 2: Sending headers to standard output
The following example sends the C data-definitions (header) to the
example% rpcgen -h prot.x
Example 3: Sending a test version
To send the test version of the -DTEST, server side stubs for all the
transport belonging to the class datagram_n to standard output, use:
example% rpcgen -s datagram_n -DTEST prot.x
Example 4: Creating server side stubs
To create the server side stubs for the transport indicated by netid
example% rpcgen -n tcp -o prot_svc.c prot.x
0 Successful operation.
>>0 An error occurred.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
tab() allbox; cw(2.750000i)| cw(2.750000i) lw(2.750000i)|
lw(2.750000i). ATTRIBUTE TYPEATTRIBUTE VALUE AvailabilitySUNWbtool
cc(1B), inetd(1M), listen(1M), rpc(3NSL), rpc_control(3NSL),
rpc_svc_calls(3NSL), syslog(3C), netconfig(4), attributes(5)
The rpcgen chapter in the ONC+ Developer's Guide manual.
SunOS 5.10 7 Dec 2001 rpcgen(1)