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TCP/UDP Port 0



Port 0 is officially a reserved port in TCP/IP networking, meaning that it should not be used for any TCP or UDP network communications. However, port 0 sometimes takes on a special meaning in network programming, particularly Unix socket programming. In that environment, port 0 is a programming technique for specifying system-allocated (dynamic) ports.


Configuring a new socket connection requires assigning a TCP or UDP port number. Instead of hard-coding a particular port number, or writing code that searches for an available port on the local system, network programmers can instead specify port 0 as a connection parameter. That triggers the operating system to automatically search for and return the next available port in the dynamic port number range.

Unix, Windows and other operating systems vary slightly in their handling of port 0.

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