Skip to content
Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


A micro web server that replies "Hello world!" to every request

The idea is to show the basics steps to create a web server in Swift.

A web server overview:

alt text

1. Create Socket 🐣

func startWebServer(){
   let socketDescriptor = Darwin.socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0)

socket -- creates an endpoint for communication and returns a descriptor.

domain: Communication domain, selects the protocol family, in our case ipv4 (AF_INET). AF_INET6 if we wanted to use ipv6.

type: Specifies semantics of communication. A SOCK_STREAM type provides sequenced, reliable, two-way connection based byte streams.

protocol: The protocol specifies a particular protocol to be used with the socket. Normally only a single protocol exists to support a particular socket type within a given protocol family

Returns -1 if there's an error otherwise the descriptor (a reference).

2. Set options 🎛

   var noSigPipe: Int32 = 1
   setsockopt(socketDescriptor, SOL_SOCKET, SO_NOSIGPIPE, &noSigPipe, socklen_t(MemoryLayout<Int32>.size))

setsockopt -- get and set options on sockets

socket: The socket descriptor

level: To manipulate options at the socket level

option_name: The name of our the option, in our case we do not generate SIGPIPE, instead return EPIPE A SIGPIPE is sent to a process if it tried to write to a socket that had been shutdown for writing or isn't connected (anymore).

socklen_t: the option length

3. Create adress and bind 🚪🔌

alt text

   let port: in_port_t = 9292
   var address = sockaddr_in(
       sin_len: UInt8(MemoryLayout<sockaddr_in>.stride),
       sin_family: UInt8(AF_INET),
       sin_port: port.bigEndian,
       sin_addr: in_addr(s_addr: in_addr_t(0)),
       sin_zero:(0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0) // Add some padding, more info at:

   var bindResult: Int32 = -1
   bindResult = withUnsafePointer(to: &address) {
       bind(socketDescriptor, UnsafePointer<sockaddr>(OpaquePointer($0)), socklen_t(MemoryLayout<sockaddr_in>.size))

bind -- assigns a name to an unnamed socket.

When a socket is created with socket() it exists in a name space (address family) but has no name assigned. bind() requests that address be assigned to the socket.

   if bindResult == -1 {
       fatalError(String(cString: UnsafePointer(strerror(errno))))

4. Listen 📡

    listen(socketDescriptor, SOMAXCONN)

listen -- for connections on a socket

The backlog parameter defines the maximum length for the queue of pending connections. If a connection request arrives with the queue full, the client may receive an error with an indication of ECONNREFUSED.

5. Accept connection on socket

  print("Starting HTTP server on port \(port)")
  repeat {
      var address = sockaddr()
      var length: socklen_t = 0
      let clientSocket = accept(socketDescriptor, &address, &length)
      if clientSocket == -1 {
          fatalError(String(cString: UnsafePointer(strerror(errno))))

accept -- extracts the first connection request on the queue of pending connections,

Creates a new socket with the same properties of socket, and allocates a new file descriptor for the socket.

The argument address is a result parameter that is filled in with the address of the connecting entity, as known to the communications layer.

The address_len is a value-result parameter; it should initially contain the amount of space pointed to by address; on return it will contain the actual length (in bytes) of the address returned.

       var characters = ""
       var received: UInt8 = 0
       repeat {
           var buffer = [UInt8](repeatElement(0, count: 1))

6. Read socket 📖

recv -- receive a message from a socket

            let resp = recv(clientSocket, &buffer, Int(buffer.count), 0)
            if resp <= 0 {
                fatalError(String(cString: UnsafePointer(strerror(errno))))
            received = buffer.first!
            if received > 13 /* Carriage Return on ASCII table */ {
        } while received != 10 /* New Line on ASCII table */
        print("Received -> \(characters)")

7. Write response 📝

write -- write output

        let message = "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\n\r\n Hello World!"
        print("Response -> \(message)")
        let messageData = ArraySlice(message.utf8)
        _ = messageData.withUnsafeBytes {

            write(clientSocket, $0.baseAddress, messageData.count)

8. Close socket ⚰️

close -- delete a descriptor

    } while true



Swift playground with a micro web server that replies "Hello world!" to every request



No packages published