Cryptography and SSL/TLS Toolkit



BIO_read_ex, BIO_write_ex, BIO_read, BIO_write, BIO_gets, BIO_puts - BIO I/O functions


 #include <openssl/bio.h>

 int BIO_read_ex(BIO *b, void *data, size_t dlen, size_t *readbytes);
 int BIO_write_ex(BIO *b, const void *data, size_t dlen, size_t *written);

 int BIO_read(BIO *b, void *data, int dlen);
 int BIO_gets(BIO *b, char *buf, int size);
 int BIO_write(BIO *b, const void *data, int dlen);
 int BIO_puts(BIO *b, const char *buf);


BIO_read_ex() attempts to read dlen bytes from BIO b and places the data in data. If any bytes were successfully read then the number of bytes read is stored in *readbytes.

BIO_write_ex() attempts to write dlen bytes from data to BIO b. If successful then the number of bytes written is stored in *written.

BIO_read() attempts to read len bytes from BIO b and places the data in buf.

BIO_gets() performs the BIOs "gets" operation and places the data in buf. Usually this operation will attempt to read a line of data from the BIO of maximum length size-1. There are exceptions to this, however; for example, BIO_gets() on a digest BIO will calculate and return the digest and other BIOs may not support BIO_gets() at all. The returned string is always NUL-terminated and the '\n' is preserved if present in the input data.

BIO_write() attempts to write len bytes from buf to BIO b.

BIO_puts() attempts to write a NUL-terminated string buf to BIO b.


BIO_read_ex() and BIO_write_ex() return 1 if data was successfully read or written, and 0 otherwise.

All other functions return either the amount of data successfully read or written (if the return value is positive) or that no data was successfully read or written if the result is 0 or -1. If the return value is -2 then the operation is not implemented in the specific BIO type. The trailing NUL is not included in the length returned by BIO_gets().


A 0 or -1 return is not necessarily an indication of an error. In particular when the source/sink is nonblocking or of a certain type it may merely be an indication that no data is currently available and that the application should retry the operation later.

One technique sometimes used with blocking sockets is to use a system call (such as select(), poll() or equivalent) to determine when data is available and then call read() to read the data. The equivalent with BIOs (that is call select() on the underlying I/O structure and then call BIO_read() to read the data) should not be used because a single call to BIO_read() can cause several reads (and writes in the case of SSL BIOs) on the underlying I/O structure and may block as a result. Instead select() (or equivalent) should be combined with non blocking I/O so successive reads will request a retry instead of blocking.

See BIO_should_retry(3) for details of how to determine the cause of a retry and other I/O issues.

If the BIO_gets() function is not supported by a BIO then it possible to work around this by adding a buffering BIO BIO_f_buffer(3) to the chain.




BIO_gets() on 1.1.0 and older when called on BIO_fd() based BIO does not keep the '\n' at the end of the line in the buffer.

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