Friendly Pointer and Object-Oriented System API.

What's New

CKit 0.0.9 release


Pointer types has renamed to AnyPointer
Added better pwrite/read support
Added some socket options
Resolved a problem where reinterpret_cast can cause buffer overflow
Some source are now written in and generate by .gyb files.


Platform License


CKit is framework designed for interact with C API. It provides painless pointer operations, object oriented wrappers of some common C struct such as stat, dirent and passwd. In 0.0.5 release, an object oriented support for epoll and kqueue is added.

Because it is build on top of xlibc, by importing CKit, besides all libc modules in Darwin.C and Glibc, you also have access to some platform dependented modules such as epoll and inotify.


a simple server will be like:

let serv = Socket(domain: .inet, type: .stream, protocol: 0)
let addr = SocketAddress(ip: "", domain: .inet, port: 8080)!
serv.reuseaddr = true
serv.reuseport = true

do {
    try serv.bind(addr)
    try serv.listen()

    let (accepted, addrx) = try serv.accept()

    var buffer = Data(count: 100)

    _ = buffer.withUnsafeMutableBytes { (ptr: UnsafeMutablePointer<Int8>) in
        try! ptr, length: accepted.bytesAvailable)
        print(String(cString: ptr))

} catch {


and client

let client = Socket(domain: .inet, type: .stream, protocol: 0)
let addr = SocketAddress(ip: "", domain: .inet, port: 8080)!

let hi = "Hello World".cString(using: .ascii)!

do {
    try client.connect(to: addr)
    try client.write(bytes: hi, length: hi.count)
} catch {


to set a socket to non-blocking, simply set the blocking to false, to switch to blocking, set it to false

sock.blocking = false

other settings includes:

  • reuseaddr
  • reuseport
  • sendBufferSize
  • recvBufferSize
  • debug
  • sendTimeout
  • recvTimeout
  • keepalive
  • broadcast
  • noSigpipe (BSD systems only)

Network interfaces

Getting network interfaces is fairly simple

let interfaces = NetworkInterface.interfaces
// filter to ipv4 interfaces
let inetIfx = interfaces.filter{$0.address?.type == .inet}
// get interface by name
let en0 = NetworkInterface.interface(named: "en0", support: .inet)


Although swift can call C API directly, swift has not provided an easy way to access pointer of non-Foundation object, and it is even harder to cast a pointer to unrelated types. An Example use is in socket to cast different types of sockaddr. See the pointer(of:) and mutablePointer(of:) example in KernelQueue/Epoll section of this readme.


All pointer types (UnsafePointer<T>, UnsafeRawPointer, UnsafeBufferPointer and Array<T>) confirms to the CKit.PointerType protocol. It doesn't just allow you to write code that take any pointer types as argument easier but also come with a PointerType.rawPointer getter that returns you an UnsafeRawPointer object. The PointerType.numerialValue property returns the numberical representation of the address as Int.

All mutable pointer types (UnsafeMutablePointer<T>, UnsafeMutableRawPointer, UnsafeMutableBufferPointer) comfirms to CKit.MutablePointerType protocol. They got all benefits CKit.PointerType get in addition to an PointerType.mutableRawPointer property that returns an UnsafeMutableRawPointer object.

KernelQueue (FreeBSD and OS X) and Epoll (Linux)

KernelQueue is an object oriented wrapper for kqueue() system call. The following example demostrates use event looping on a server socket that simply print out requests. Similar to KernelQueue/kqueue, the Epoll is an oo wrapper for epoll()


import CKit
// create our kernel queue and socket
    var queue = KernelQueue()
    let serv = Socket(domain: .inet, type: .stream, protocol: 0)
    let addr = SocketAddress(ip: "", domain: .inet, port: 8080)!
    serv.reuseaddr = true
    serv.reuseport = true
    try! serv.bind(addr)
    try! serv.listen()
    // one of two ways to add event, the equeue method are more free since you can add whatever
    // action you need.
    queue.enqueue(event: serv.fileDescriptor), for: [.add, .enable])
    // main loop
    while (true) {
        // wait for event
        try? queue.wait(todo: nil, expecting: 1000, timeout: nil) { (result) in
            // our server socket
            if result.ident == UInt(serv.fileDescriptor) {
                let (newfd, _) = try! serv.accept()
                // the other way to add event to kqueue
                queue.add(event: .read(ident: newfd.fileDescriptor), enable: true, oneshot: false)
            } else {
                // In a read kevent result, the data field is the number of bytes
                let bytes_in_buffer =
                if bytes_in_buffer == 0 {
                    close(Int32(result.ident)) // close the socket
                } else {
                    let buffer = malloc(bytes_in_buffer)
                    try! Socket(raw: Int32(result.ident))
                            .readBytes(to: buffer!, length: bytes_in_buffer)
                    print(String(cString: buffer!.assumingMemoryBound(to: Int8.self)))


import CKit
// helper
func sizeof<T>(_ x: T) -> Int {
    return MemoryLayout<T>.size

// cretae epoll and socket
var ep = Epoll()
let server = socket(AF_INET, Int32(SOCK_STREAM).rawValue, 0)
// reuse address
var yes = 1
setsockopt(server, SOL_SOCKET, SO_REUSEADDR, pointer(of: &yes).rawPointer, socklen_t(sizeof(yes)))
var addr = sockaddr_in()
let addrlen = MemoryLayout<sockaddr_in>.size

// user mutablePointer(of:) to get the pointer of addr
bzero(mutablePointer(of: &addr).mutableRawPointer, addrlen)

addr.sin_port = in_port_t(8080).byteSwapped
addr.sin_family = sa_family_t(AF_INET)

// user pointer(of:) and cast(to:) to convert between pointers
bind(server, pointer(of: &addr).cast(to: sockaddr.self), socklen_t(addrlen))

listen(server, 999)

// add to epoll
ep.add(fd: server, for: .pollin)
while (true) {
    for ev in ep.wait(maxevs: 999) {
        // server socket
        if == server {
            let newfd = accept(server, nil, nil)
            ep.add(fd: newfd, for: .pollin)
        } else {
            var bytes_in_buffer = 0
            // get number of bytes in socket
            ioctl(, UInt(FIONREAD), mutablePointer(of:&bytes_in_buffer).mutableRawPointer)
            if bytes_in_buffer == 0 {
                // in epoll we need to remove manually when the connection ended
                // close the socket
            read(Int32(result.ident), buffer, bytes_in_buffer)
            print(String(cString: buffer!.assumingMemoryBound(to: Int8.self)))

System Configuation

The CKit.System struct contains information about the system setup. These included:


  • hostname length: System.maximum.hostname
  • tty name length: System.maximum.ttyname
  • login name length: System.maximum.loginname
  • file descriptor count: System.maximum.fildescs
  • child processes: System.maximum.childProcess
  • Arguments: System.maximum.args


  • page size:
  • Physical pages: System.sizes.physicalPages

CPU info

  • number of CPU configuared: System.cpus.configuared
  • number of online CPUs: System.cpus.onlines
  • clock tricks per second: System.cpus.clkTricksPerSec


The timespec struct is very common in C API to get precise time steps. However it is pretty painful to use in swift since timestep is not comparable nor substractable/addable.

In CKit, extensions are introduced to allow timespecs compare with each other, and also allow converting Foundation Date struct to timespec.

We have also added a static func to help you get current time in timespec.

let now =
let date: timespec = Date().unix_timespec
print(date >= now) // comparable

let someDate = date - now // subtract / add / multipy

FileInfo (stat)

FileInfo is same as stat in C, which can use to inspect properties of a file.

let status = try? FileStatus(path: "/path/to/file")
// let status = try? FileStatus(fd: my_opened_fd) 
let sizeOfFile = status.size

DirectoryEntry (dirent)

the DirectoryEntry structure provided a low level way to inspect directories. There are two main static functions:

// all the contents in the directory "/path/to/dir"
let entries: [DirectoryEntries] = DirectoryEntry.files(at "path/to/dir")

// find a particular entry named "myEntry" in directory "/path/to/dir"
// despite the first argument named "file", it supports all kinds of entries (FIFO, file, dir, etc...)
let entry = DirectoryEntry.find(file: "myEntry", in: "/path/to/dir")


  • Swift Tools 3.1.0
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Last updated: Mon May 01 2023 22:07:36 GMT-0500 (GMT-05:00)