I know how endians work. I read somewhere a statement "the internet, for instance, agrees on everything being big endians". How does that work? If I have a tcp connection between 2 machines, how do these machines decide what endian to use?


The decision of endianness is not made at connection time, it is a property of the format or protocol in use. In your example, all of the machines know that the protocol specifies a big-endian format, so that is how data is sent and interpreted.

  • what protocol is this? – luke kong Mar 26 at 23:35
  • In your example, the Transmission Control Protocol (tcp), but this applies in general to almost anything – Fox Mar 27 at 0:51
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    Just in case, use htonl()/ntohl() functions to convert byte order. man(3) htonl – Mikhail Zakharov Mar 29 at 5:53

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