[erlang-questions] Port is NULL verification in the start callback of a linked-in driver

Zhemzhitsky Sergey Sergey_Zhemzhitsky@REDACTED
Mon Sep 3 10:23:58 CEST 2012

Hi erlangers,

I'm wondering whether it’s necessary to check that port is not NULL in the start callback of the driver:
ErlDrvData (*start)(ErlDrvPort port, char *command);

I’m asking because there are some samples that do such a verification, i.e.
and a lot of port drivers that do not.

As I understand (according to the otp sources) port parameter is only a number of the port in the erts_port array (https://github.com/erlang/otp/blob/maint/erts/emulator/beam/io.c#L60) and 0 (zero) is a valid value for it.

So I have two questions:

1.       Is it necessary to check that the port parameter in the start callback of the driver is not NULL (not 0) and why?

2.       If 0 (zero) is a legal value for the port parameter in the start callback of the driver, why there are drivers which require that parameter to be not NULL (or this is a kind of a bug)?

Best Regards,


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