DIfference between s2_srvr.c, s3_srvr.c, s23_srvr.c and t1_clnt.c

Matt Caswell matt at openssl.org
Tue Apr 23 14:00:11 UTC 2019

On 23/04/2019 14:40, Chethan Kumar wrote:
> Dear all,
> Can someone please explain the need for different files like s2_srvr.c,
> s3_srvr.c and s23_srvr.c in ssl folder.
> I need to know the difference because ssl23_client_hello() is getting called for
> all communication happening using sslv3, tls1.0/1.1/1.2
> Then what is the use of ssl3_client_hello() in s3_srvr.c and client_hello() in
> s2_srvr.c
> Does ssl23_client_hello() is getting called internally for all versions?
> If so, can some please point where does this internal call happens.

s2_srvr.c processes SSLv2 only.
s3_srvr.c processes SSLv3 and above for a fixed protocol version (it does not do
version negotiation).

s23_srvr.c does version negotiation. It pulls apart the ClientHello that has
been received and works out what protocol version should be used. It then sets
the protocol version in the SSL object, pushes the ClientHello back into a read
buffer and restarts the process. If SSLv2 was selected then the client hello
processing in s2_srvr.c is used. If SSLv3 or above was selected then the client
hello processing in s3_srvr.c is used.

You can see the code to set the protocol version in the SSL object, and then
push the ClientHello back into the read buffer here:


At the end of this function we call SSL_accept again to restart the process:


If you use SSLv2_server_method(), SSLv3_server_method(), TLSv1_server_method(),
TLSv1_1_server_method() or TLSv1_2_server_method() when you create your
SSL_CTX() then this "fixes" the protocol version at the specified level. In this
case s23_srvr.c is never used and you just go straight to s3_srvr.c (or s2_srvr.c).

If you use SSLv23_server_method() then version negotiation is used an you go to
s23_srvr.c initially.

In OpenSSL 1.1.0+ version negotiation was completely rewritten so this works
very differently there. The fixed protocol server methods are deprecated and you
are encouraged to use TLS_server_method() instead (which is the new name for

Hope that helps


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