Bye Message Extension

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Source - [Bye Message Proposal (]

The Bye message is an OPTIONAL message used to inform the servent you are connected to that you are closing the connection.

Servents supporting the Bye message SHOULD indicate that by sending the following header in the handshaking sequence:

       Bye-Packet: 0.1

Servents MAY send Bye messages to hosts that have not indicated support using the above header. Future versions will be backwards compatible, so Bye messages MAY also be sent to hosts providing the above header with a later version number.

A Bye packet MUST be sent with TTL=1 (to avoid accidental propagation by an unaware servent), and hops=0 (of course).

A servent receiving a Bye message MUST close he connection immediately. The servent that sent the packet MUST wait a few seconds for the remote host to close the connection before closing it. Other data MUST NOT be sent after the Bye message. Make sure any send queues are cleared.

The servent that sent by Bye message MAY also call shutdown() with 'how' set to ``SHUT_WR after sending the Bye message, partially closing the connection. Doing a full close() immediately after sending the Bye messages would prevent the remote host from possibly seeing the Bye message.

After sending the Bye message, and during the "grace period" when we don't immediately close the connection, the servent MUST read all incoming messages, and drop them unless they are Query Hits or Push, which MAY still be forwarded (it would be nice to the network). The connection will be closed as soon as the servent gets an EOF condition when reading, or when the "grace period" expires.

A Bye message has the following fields:

Byte offset Field
0 Code (16 bit, little-endian)
2 NUL-terminated Description String

The presence of the Code allows for automated processing of the message, and the regular SMTP classification of error code ranges should apply. Of particular interests are the 200..299, 400..499 and 500..599 ranges. Here is the general classification ("User" here refers to the remote node that we are disconnecting from):

Code Description

The User did nothing wrong, but the servent chose to close the connection: it is either exiting normally (200), or the local manager of the servent requested an explicit close of the connection (201).


The User did something wrong, as far as the servent is concerned. It can send packets deemed too big (400), too many duplicate messages (401), relay improper queries (402), relay messages deemed excessively long- lived [hop+TTL > max] (403), send too many unknown messages (404), the node reached its inactivity timeout (405), it failed to reply to a ping with TTL=1 (406), or it is not sharing enough (407).


The servent noticed an error, but it is an "internal" one. It can be an I/O error or other bad error (500), a protocol desynchronization (501), the send queue became full (502).

The format of the Description String is the following:

Error message, as descriptive as possible\r\n

or optionally, something more qualified, with HTTP-like headers giving out more information:

Error message, as descriptive as possible\r\n
Server: some server/version\r\n
X-Gnutella-XXX: some specific Gnutella header\r\n     ; for instance telling the host about alternate
                                                      ; nodes it could connect to

The presence of "\r\n" at the end of message indicates that HTTP-like headers are present. The absence of any indicates that the short error message form was used.

Unless circumstances making that impossible (urgent disconnection due to a memory fault), the HTTP-like headers version SHOULD be used, with at least a Server: header, allowing better tracing and debugging.

For further information about the Bye message, please refer to the original documentation:

[Bye Proposal (]

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