ares_getaddrinfo - Initiate a host query by name and service

#include <ares.h>
typedef void (*ares_addrinfo_callback)(void *arg, int status,
	int timeouts, struct ares_addrinfo *result)
void ares_getaddrinfo(ares_channel channel, const char *name,
	const char* service, const struct ares_addrinfo_hints *hints,
	ares_addrinfo_callback callback, void *arg)

The ares_getaddrinfo function initiates a host query by name on the name service channel identified by channel. The name and service parameters give the hostname and service as NULL-terminated C strings. The hints parameter is an ares_addrinfo_hints structure:

struct ares_addrinfo_hints {

int ai_flags;
int ai_family;
int ai_socktype;
int ai_protocol; };
Specifies desired address family. AF_UNSPEC means return both AF_INET and AF_INET6.
Specifies desired socket type, for example SOCK_STREAM or SOCK_DGRAM. Setting this to 0 means any type.
Setting this to 0 means any protocol.
Specifies additional options, see below.
If this option is set service field will be treated as a numeric value.
The ares_addrinfo structure will return a canonical names list.
Result addresses will not be sorted and no connections to resolved addresses will be attempted.
Read hosts file path from the environment variable CARES_HOSTS .

When the query is complete or has failed, the ares library will invoke callback. Completion or failure of the query may happen immediately, or may happen during a later call to ares_process(3), ares_destroy(3) or ares_cancel(3).

The callback argument arg is copied from the ares_getaddrinfo argument arg. The callback argument status indicates whether the query succeeded and, if not, how it failed. It may have any of the following values:

The host lookup completed successfully.
The ares library does not know how to find addresses of type family.
The name was not found.
Memory was exhausted.
The query was cancelled.
The name service channel channel is being destroyed; the query will not be completed.

On successful completion of the query, the callback argument result points to a struct ares_addrinfo which contains two linked lists, one with resolved addresses and another with canonical names. Also included is the official name of the host (analogous to gethostbyname() h_name).

struct ares_addrinfo {

struct ares_addrinfo_cname *cnames;
struct ares_addrinfo_node *nodes;
char *name; };

ares_addrinfo_node structure is similar to RFC3493 addrinfo, but without canonname and with extra ttl field.

struct ares_addrinfo_node {

int ai_ttl;
int ai_flags;
int ai_family;
int ai_socktype;
int ai_protocol;
ares_socklen_t ai_addrlen;
struct sockaddr *ai_addr;
struct ares_addrinfo_node *ai_next; };

ares_addrinfo_cname structure is a linked list of CNAME records where ttl is a time to live alias is a label of the resource record and name is a value (canonical name) of the resource record. See RFC2181 10.1.1. CNAME terminology.

struct ares_addrinfo_cname {

int ttl;
char *alias;
char *name;
struct ares_addrinfo_cname *next; };

The reserved memory has to be deleted by ares_freeaddrinfo.

The result is sorted according to RFC6724 except:
- Rule 3 (Avoid deprecated addresses)
- Rule 4 (Prefer home addresses)
- Rule 7 (Prefer native transport)

Please note that the function will attempt a connection on each of the resolved addresses as per RFC6724.

This function was added in c-ares 1.16.0, released in March 2020.


Christian Ammer
Andrew Selivanov <>

4 November 2018