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Implementing Internet Communication

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Python includes several built-in modules as well as addon modules to implement different types of Internet communication. These modules simplify many of the tasks necessary to facilitate socket communication, email, file transfers, data streaming, HTTP requests, and more.

Because the communication possibilities with Python are so vast, this chapter focuses on phrases that implement simple socket servers, socket clients, and FTP clients, as well as POP3 and SMTP mail clients that can be easily incorporated into Python scripts.

Opening a Server-Side Socket for Receiving Data

sSock = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM)
sSock.bind((serverHost, serverPort))
conn, addr = sSock.accept()
data = conn.recv(1024)

The socket module included with Python provides a generic interface to a variety of low-level socket programming. This phrase discusses how to implement a low-level socket server using the socket module.

The first step in implementing a server-side socket interface is to create the server socket by calling -socket(family, type [, proto]), which creates and returns a new socket. family refers to the address family listed in Table 7.1, type refers to the socket types listed in Table 7.2, and proto refers to the protocol number, which is typically omitted except when working with raw sockets.

Table 7.1. Protocol Families for Python Sockets




Ipv4 protocols (TCP, UDP)


Ipv6 protocols (TCP, UDP)


Unix domain protocols

Table 7.2. Socket Types for Python Sockets




Opens an existing file for reading.


Opens a file for writing. If the file already exists, the contents are deleted. If the file does not already exist, a new one is created.


Opens an existing file for updating, keeping the existing contents intact.


Opens a file for both reading and writing. The existing contents are kept intact.


Opens a file for both writing and reading. The existing contents are deleted.

Once the socket has been created, it must be bound to an address and port using the bind(address) method, where address refers to a tuple in the form of (hostname, port). If the hostname is an empty string, the server will allow connections on any available Internet interface on the system.

After the socket has been bound to an interface, it can be activated by invoking the listen(backlog) method, where backlog is an integer that indicates how many pending connections the system should queue before rejecting new ones.

Once the socket is active, implement a while loop to wait for client connections using the accept() method. Once a client connection has been accepted, data can be read from the connection using the recv(buffsize [,flags]) method. The send(string [,flags]) method is used to write a response back to the client.

from socket import *

serverHost = '' # listen on all interfaces
serverPort = 50007

#Open socket to listen on
sSock = socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM)
sSock.bind((serverHost, serverPort))

#Handle connections
while 1:

#Accept a connection
    conn, addr = sSock.accept()
    print 'Client Connection: ', addr
    while 1:

#Receive data
        data = conn.recv(1024)
        if not data: break
        print 'Server Received: ', data
        newData = data.replace('Client',

#Send response

#Close Connection


Client Connection:  ('', 1678)
Server Received:  Client Message1
Server Received:  Client Message2

Output from server_socket.py code

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