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I set my TCP server to localhost 127.0.0.1, but instead of seeing 127.0.0.1 in the host portion of the lsof output, I see an asterisk.

After running lsof -i...

my_process 66666 root 5u IPv4 0xffff...c0 0t0 TCP *:5001 (LISTEN)

What does this asterisk mean? Is my socket bound to localhost, does it not have an address or something else?

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That means that limiting your server to localhost was not successful (maybe you have to restart is?) because it is listening on all interfaces, accepting all destination IP addresses.

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