This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.


Call this member function to set a socket option.

BOOL SetSockOpt(
   int nOptionName,
   const void* lpOptionValue,
   int nOptionLen,
   int nLevel = SOL_SOCKET 



The socket option for which the value is to be set.


A pointer to the buffer in which the value for the requested option is supplied.


The size of the lpOptionValue buffer in bytes.


The level at which the option is defined; the only supported levels are SOL_SOCKET and IPPROTO_TCP.

Nonzero if the function is successful; otherwise 0, and a specific error code can be retrieved by calling GetLastError. The following errors apply to this member function:

  • WSANOTINITIALISED   A successful AfxSocketInit must occur before using this API.

  • WSAENETDOWN   The Windows Sockets implementation detected that the network subsystem failed.

  • WSAEFAULT   lpOptionValue is not in a valid part of the process address space.

  • WSAEINPROGRESS   A blocking Windows Sockets operation is in progress.

  • WSAEINVAL   nLevel is not valid, or the information in lpOptionValue is not valid.

  • WSAENETRESET   Connection has timed out when SO_KEEPALIVE is set.

  • WSAENOPROTOOPT   The option is unknown or unsupported. In particular, SO_BROADCAST is not supported on sockets of type SOCK_STREAM, while SO_DONTLINGER, SO_KEEPALIVE, SO_LINGER, and SO_OOBINLINE are not supported on sockets of type SOCK_DGRAM.

  • WSAENOTCONN   Connection has been reset when SO_KEEPALIVE is set.

  • WSAENOTSOCK   The descriptor is not a socket.

SetSockOpt sets the current value for a socket option associated with a socket of any type, in any state. Although options can exist at multiple protocol levels, this specification only defines options that exist at the uppermost "socket" level. Options affect socket operations, such as whether expedited data is received in the normal data stream, whether broadcast messages can be sent on the socket, and so on.

There are two types of socket options: Boolean options that enable or disable a feature or behavior, and options which require an integer value or structure. To enable a Boolean option, lpOptionValue points to a nonzero integer. To disable the option lpOptionValue points to an integer equal to zero. nOptionLen should be equal to sizeof(BOOL) for Boolean options. For other options, lpOptionValue points to the integer or structure that contains the desired value for the option, and nOptionLen is the length of the integer or structure.

SO_LINGER controls the action taken when unsent data is queued on a socket and the Close function is called to close the socket.

By default, a socket cannot be bound (see Bind) to a local address which is already in use. On occasion, however, it may be desirable to "reuse" an address in this way. Since every connection is uniquely identified by the combination of local and remote addresses, there is no problem with having two sockets bound to the same local address as long as the remote addresses are different.

To inform the Windows Sockets implementation that a Bind call on a socket should not be disallowed because the desired address is already in use by another socket, the application should set the SO_REUSEADDR socket option for the socket before issuing the Bind call. Note that the option is interpreted only at the time of the Bind call: it is therefore unnecessary (but harmless) to set the option on a socket which is not to be bound to an existing address, and setting or resetting the option after the Bind call has no effect on this or any other socket.

An application can request that the Windows Sockets implementation enable the use of "keep-alive" packets on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections by turning on the SO_KEEPALIVE socket option. A Windows Sockets implementation need not support the use of keep-alives: if it does, the precise semantics are implementation-specific but should conform to section of RFC 1122: "Requirements for Internet Hosts — Communication Layers." If a connection is dropped as the result of "keep-alives" the error code WSAENETRESET is returned to any calls in progress on the socket, and any subsequent calls will fail with WSAENOTCONN.

The TCP_NODELAY option disables the Nagle algorithm. The Nagle algorithm is used to reduce the number of small packets sent by a host by buffering unacknowledged send data until a full-size packet can be sent. However, for some applications this algorithm can impede performance, and TCP_NODELAY can be used to turn it off. Application writers should not set TCP_NODELAY unless the impact of doing so is well-understood and desired, since setting TCP_NODELAY can have a significant negative impact on network performance. TCP_NODELAY is the only supported socket option which uses level IPPROTO_TCP; all other options use level SOL_SOCKET.

Some implementations of Windows Sockets supply output debug information if the SO_DEBUG option is set by an application.

The following options are supported for SetSockOpt. The Type identifies the type of data addressed by lpOptionValue.

Value Type Meaning



Allow transmission of broadcast messages on the socket.



Record debugging information.



Don't block Close waiting for unsent data to be sent. Setting this option is equivalent to setting SO_LINGER with l_onoff set to zero.



Don't route: send directly to interface.



Send keep-alives.


struct LINGER

Linger on Close if unsent data is present.



Receive out-of-band data in the normal data stream.



Specify buffer size for receives.



Allow the socket to be bound to an address which is already in use. (See Bind.)



Specify buffer size for sends.



Disables the Nagle algorithm for send coalescing.

Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) options not supported for SetSockOpt are:

Value Type Meaning



Socket is listening



Get error status and clear.



Receive low water mark.



Receive timeout



Send low water mark.



Send timeout.



Type of the socket.



Set options field in IP header.