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C# Tcp proper way to receive byte[]

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've worked with Tcp connections before, but it always was in the context of sending and receiving strings, which is as easy as it gets.

Now I need to receive an array of bytes with unknown length.How should I go about it? So far I came up with this:
Code:

        TcpClient link = new TcpClient();
        IPAddress ip; 
        int port;
        BinaryWriter writer;
        BinaryReader reader;
        LinkedList<byte> buffer = new LinkedList<byte>();

// ... initialization routines, config, etc...


        public bool Activate()
        {
            try
            {
                lock (link)
                {
                    link.Connect(ip, port);
                    writer = new BinaryWriter(link.GetStream());
                    reader = new BinaryReader(link.GetStream());
                }
                return true;
            }
            catch { return false; }
        }

        public bool Deactivate()
        {
            try
            {
                lock (link)
                {
                    link.Client.Close();
                }
                return true;
            }
            catch { return false; }
        }

        public bool Send(List<byte> data)
        {
            try
            {
                writer.Write(data.ToArray());
                return true;
            }
            catch { return false; }
        }

        void Receive() // this will run in an loop in a new thread
        {
            lock (link)
            {
                lock (buffer)
                {
                    buffer.AddLast(reader.ReadByte());
                }
            }
        }

// ... buffer flushing, disposing, and other auxiliary methods...


So technically, I'm just reading 1 byte whever I can, and I add it to my own buffer. Is there a better way to do that, if I don't know what size of the data to expect?
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post #2 of 10
MemoryStream:
Code:
NetworkStream clientStream = tcpClient.GetStream();
MemoryStream messageStream = new MemoryStream();
byte[] inbuffer = new byte[65535];

if (clientStream.CanRead)
{
    do
    {
        var bytesRead = clientStream.Read(inbuffer, 0, buffer.Length);
        messageStream.Write(inbuffer, 0, bytesRead);
    } while (clientStream.DataAvailable);
}

messageStream.Position = 0;
var completeMessage = new byte[messageStream.Length];
messageStream.Write(completeMessage, 0, messageStream.Length);

Reads 65535 bytes at a time.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

MemoryStream:
Code:
NetworkStream clientStream = tcpClient.GetStream();
MemoryStream messageStream = new MemoryStream();
byte[] inbuffer = new byte[65535];

if (clientStream.CanRead)
{
    do
    {
        var bytesRead = clientStream.Read(inbuffer, 0, buffer.Length);
        messageStream.Write(inbuffer, 0, bytesRead);
    } while (clientStream.DataAvailable);
}

messageStream.Position = 0;
var completeMessage = new byte[messageStream.Length];
messageStream.Write(completeMessage, 0, messageStream.Length);

Reads 65535 bytes at a time.

Can you explain exactly what it does and how? Mainly what I don't understand is why is there a "messageStream.Write" after the "clientStream.Read"? Isn't the buffer already full with data at that point?
Also can I access this inbuffer at any time from another thread during the while-loop? If I need to lock it, should I lock only for ""clientStream.Read" or also for "messageStream.Write"?
Also, what does the last line do?

All in all, I didn't get much from that biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post


Can you explain exactly what it does and how? Mainly what I don't understand is why is there a "messageStream.Write" after the "clientStream.Read"? Isn't the buffer already full with data at that point?
Also can I access this inbuffer at any time from another thread during the while-loop? If I need to lock it, should I lock only for ""clientStream.Read" or also for "messageStream.Write"?
Also, what does the last line do?

All in all, I didn't get much from that biggrin.gif

Yeah, I am kinda confused why there is a messageStream.write? Unless you need to send data back, but from this example code, you read in whatever data remote is sending and then you send it back?

 

Here are some links that may at least help ronnin:

 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.sockets.tcpclient.getstream.aspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.sockets.networkstream.write.aspx

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.sockets.networkstream.read.aspx

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

Can you explain exactly what it does and how? Mainly what I don't understand is why is there a "messageStream.Write" after the "clientStream.Read"? Isn't the buffer already full with data at that point?
Also can I access this inbuffer at any time from another thread during the while-loop? If I need to lock it, should I lock only for ""clientStream.Read" or also for "messageStream.Write"?
Also, what does the last line do?

All in all, I didn't get much from that biggrin.gif

Sure. We read 65535 bytes at a time. We could theoretically avoid using the memory stream if we knew that the entire contents would always be 65535 bytes or less, but we can't know that (as you said, unknown length). So we read 65535 bytes at a time and then write them out to a separate memory stream. The first buffer is overwritten each time the loop rolls over with the next 65535 bytes from the socket. That buffer is then appended to the memory stream using messageStream.Write.

The memory stream is just a temporary buffer for later. I copied the code from a project of mine, you can omit the last line. For locking, "inbfuffer" is a temporary buffer that contains only a subset of the bytes received from the socket.

If you need to do thread syncronization, create a separate sync-lock object - don't lock on byte arrays or memory streams.

I cleaned the code up for you:
Code:
private object _readSyncLock = new object();

lock ( _readSyncLock )
{
        using ( NetworkStream clientStream = tcpClient.GetStream() )
        {
                using ( MemoryStream messageStream = new MemoryStream() )
                {
                        byte[] inbuffer = new byte[ 65535 ];

                        if ( clientStream.CanRead )
                        {
                                do
                                {
                                        int bytesRead = clientStream.Read( inbuffer, 0, inbuffer.Length );
                                        messageStream.Write( inbuffer, 0, bytesRead );
                                }
                                while ( clientStream.DataAvailable );
                        }

                        /* msg is the final byte array from the stream */
                        byte[] msg = messageStream.ToArray();
                }
        }
}

There's locking in your code which looks unnecessary to me at first glance...

I almost lost my lunch at this, too:
Code:
        void Receive() // this will run in an loop in a new thread
        {
            lock (link)
            {
                lock (buffer)
                {
                    buffer.AddLast(reader.ReadByte());
                }
            }
        }

If slowing things to a crawl is your gain, then feel free to run that function in a loop! (i.e. putting that in a loop is bad because you'll be taking and releasing a lock over and over... kernel objects are involved here, and transitioning into the kernel in a loop costs you). smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubanresourceful View Post

Yeah, I am kinda confused why there is a messageStream.write? Unless you need to send data back, but from this example code, you read in whatever data remote is sending and then you send it back?

Here are some links that may at least help ronnin:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.sockets.tcpclient.getstream.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.sockets.networkstream.write.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.net.sockets.networkstream.read.aspx

^
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ok, that made sense. Now if the other sides sends just 4 bytes, would I get 4 bytes and 65531 zeroes? Because then there is no way for me to know if those zeroes are meaningful - did the other side explicidly send them, or did they just fill the buffer..

Or there wouldn't be zeroes at all? What would happen if the data is less than 65k, say, between 100 and 500 bytes every second?
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

Ok, that made sense. Now if the other sides sends just 4 bytes, would I get 4 bytes and 65531 zeroes? Because then there is no way for me to know if those zeroes are meaningful - did the other side explicidly send them, or did they just fill the buffer..

Or there wouldn't be zeroes at all? What would happen if the data is less than 65k, say, between 100 and 500 bytes every second?

This line of code answers your question:
Code:
int bytesRead = clientStream.Read( inbuffer, 0, inbuffer.Length );

The amount of bytes read from the TCP stream is stored in bytesRead (I.e. returned from clientStream.Read). When we write the bytes to the memory stream, we specify bytesRead as the stopping point. No padding zeroes are copied to the memory stream smile.gif
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

This line of code answers your question:
Code:
int bytesRead = clientStream.Read( inbuffer, 0, inbuffer.Length );

The amount of bytes read from the TCP stream is stored in bytesRead (I.e. returned from clientStream.Read). When we write the bytes to the memory stream, we specify bytesRead as the stopping point. No padding zeroes are copied to the memory stream smile.gif

Ah! I'm exceptionally silly today biggrin.gif Thank you, have some rep+ smile.gif
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Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Seagate 3Tb Samsung 850 EVO 120 Scythe Ninja 3 Rev.B Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Fujitsu Siemens A17-2A Logitech K280e SuperFlower SF-550K12XP Thermaltake Versa H25 
MouseAudio
Logitech G402 Sony MDR XD150 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 750K 4.0Ghz AsRock FM2A75 Pro4+ Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X Kingston 2x4Gb 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 120  Western Digital 320Gb LiteON DVD-RW CoolerMaster Hyper Z600 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro x64 Toshiba 32" FullHD TV Logitech FSP Hexa 550 
CaseMouse
DeLUX Logitech 
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

Ah! I'm exceptionally silly today biggrin.gif Thank you, have some rep+ smile.gif

smile.gif You're welcome.

Also, please consider...

Spin locks: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.threading.spinlock.aspx
ReaderWriterLock: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.threading.readerwriterlockslim.aspx
Interlocked class (atomic operations without locking): http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.threading.interlocked.aspx
Ol' Sandy
(28 items)
 
"Zeus"
(12 items)
 
Elite Preview
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230v3 Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK MSI Gaming GTX 980 Kingston 32GB (4x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB Samsung EVO 1TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 Hitachi HUA722010CLA330 WDC WD10EARS-00Z5B1 TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Phanteks PH-TC14PE with TY-140's Lamptron FCv5 (x2) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell U2412M 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Dell U2412M Dell U2212HM Dell U2713HM Topre Realforce 87UB | Ducky DK9087 G2 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 128GB 1333MHz LSI 9271-8i 
OSPowerCase
VMware ESXi 5.5 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3437U HP EliteBook Folio 9470m  Intel HD Graphics 4000  16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
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256GB SSD Windows 10 Insider Preview 
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Ol' Sandy
(28 items)
 
"Zeus"
(12 items)
 
Elite Preview
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230v3 Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK MSI Gaming GTX 980 Kingston 32GB (4x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB Samsung EVO 1TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 Hitachi HUA722010CLA330 WDC WD10EARS-00Z5B1 TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Phanteks PH-TC14PE with TY-140's Lamptron FCv5 (x2) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell U2412M 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Dell U2412M Dell U2212HM Dell U2713HM Topre Realforce 87UB | Ducky DK9087 G2 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 128GB 1333MHz LSI 9271-8i 
OSPowerCase
VMware ESXi 5.5 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3437U HP EliteBook Folio 9470m  Intel HD Graphics 4000  16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Hard DriveOS
256GB SSD Windows 10 Insider Preview 
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
edit: nvm smile.gif
Edited by ronnin426850 - 3/29/13 at 8:07am
My Rig
(14 items)
 
Ex-wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 4460 AsRock H81M-DG4 Sapphire Rx470 Platinum KVR 1600 16Gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Seagate 3Tb Samsung 850 EVO 120 Scythe Ninja 3 Rev.B Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Fujitsu Siemens A17-2A Logitech K280e SuperFlower SF-550K12XP Thermaltake Versa H25 
MouseAudio
Logitech G402 Sony MDR XD150 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 750K 4.0Ghz AsRock FM2A75 Pro4+ Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X Kingston 2x4Gb 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 120  Western Digital 320Gb LiteON DVD-RW CoolerMaster Hyper Z600 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro x64 Toshiba 32" FullHD TV Logitech FSP Hexa 550 
CaseMouse
DeLUX Logitech 
  hide details  
Reply
My Rig
(14 items)
 
Ex-wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 4460 AsRock H81M-DG4 Sapphire Rx470 Platinum KVR 1600 16Gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Seagate 3Tb Samsung 850 EVO 120 Scythe Ninja 3 Rev.B Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Fujitsu Siemens A17-2A Logitech K280e SuperFlower SF-550K12XP Thermaltake Versa H25 
MouseAudio
Logitech G402 Sony MDR XD150 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 750K 4.0Ghz AsRock FM2A75 Pro4+ Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X Kingston 2x4Gb 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 120  Western Digital 320Gb LiteON DVD-RW CoolerMaster Hyper Z600 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro x64 Toshiba 32" FullHD TV Logitech FSP Hexa 550 
CaseMouse
DeLUX Logitech 
  hide details  
Reply
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