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NAME

       select, pselect, FD_CLR, FD_ISSET, FD_SET, FD_ZERO - synchronous I/O multiplexing

SYNOPSIS

       /* According to POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008 */
       #include <sys/select.h>

       /* According to earlier standards */
       #include <sys/time.h>
       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <unistd.h>

       int select(int nfds, fd_set *readfds, fd_set *writefds,
                  fd_set *exceptfds, struct timeval *timeout);

       void FD_CLR(int fd, fd_set *set);
       int  FD_ISSET(int fd, fd_set *set);
       void FD_SET(int fd, fd_set *set);
       void FD_ZERO(fd_set *set);

       #include <sys/select.h>

       int pselect(int nfds, fd_set *readfds, fd_set *writefds,
                   fd_set *exceptfds, const struct timespec *timeout,
                   const sigset_t *sigmask);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       pselect(): _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L

DESCRIPTION

       select() and pselect() allow a program to monitor multiple file descriptors, waiting until
       one or more of the file descriptors become "ready" for some class of I/O operation  (e.g.,
       input  possible).   A  file  descriptor is considered ready if it is possible to perform a
       corresponding I/O operation (e.g., read(2)  without  blocking,  or  a  sufficiently  small
       write(2)).

       select()  can monitor only file descriptors numbers that are less than FD_SETSIZE; poll(2)
       does not have this limitation.  See BUGS.

       The operation of select() and pselect() is identical, other than these three differences:

       (i)    select() uses a timeout that is a struct timeval (with seconds  and  microseconds),
              while pselect() uses a struct timespec (with seconds and nanoseconds).

       (ii)   select()  may  update  the  timeout  argument  to  indicate how much time was left.
              pselect() does not change this argument.

       (iii)  select() has no sigmask  argument,  and  behaves  as  pselect()  called  with  NULL
              sigmask.

       Three  independent  sets  of file descriptors are watched.  The file descriptors listed in
       readfds will be watched to see if characters become available for reading (more precisely,
       to see if a read will not block; in particular, a file descriptor is also ready on end-of-
       file).  The file descriptors in writefds will be watched to see if space is available  for
       write  (though  a large write may still block).  The file descriptors in exceptfds will be
       watched for exceptional conditions.  (For examples of some exceptional conditions, see the
       discussion of POLLPRI in poll(2).)

       On  exit,  each  of  the  file descriptor sets is modified in place to indicate which file
       descriptors actually changed status.  (Thus, if using select() within  a  loop,  the  sets
       must be reinitialized before each call.)

       Each of the three file descriptor sets may be specified as NULL if no file descriptors are
       to be watched for the corresponding class of events.

       Four macros are provided to manipulate the sets.  FD_ZERO() clears a  set.   FD_SET()  and
       FD_CLR() respectively add and remove a given file descriptor from a set.  FD_ISSET() tests
       to see if a file descriptor is part of the set; this is useful after select() returns.

       nfds should be set to the highest-numbered file descriptor in any of the three sets,  plus
       1.   The  indicated  file  descriptors  in each set are checked, up to this limit (but see
       BUGS).

       The timeout argument specifies the interval that select() should block waiting for a  file
       descriptor to become ready.  The call will block until either:

       *  a file descriptor becomes ready;

       *  the call is interrupted by a signal handler; or

       *  the timeout expires.

       Note  that  the  timeout  interval will be rounded up to the system clock granularity, and
       kernel scheduling delays mean that the blocking interval may overrun by  a  small  amount.
       If  both  fields  of  the  timeval  structure are zero, then select() returns immediately.
       (This is useful for polling.)  If  timeout  is  NULL  (no  timeout),  select()  can  block
       indefinitely.

       sigmask  is  a  pointer  to  a  signal  mask (see sigprocmask(2)); if it is not NULL, then
       pselect() first replaces the current signal mask by the one pointed to  by  sigmask,  then
       does the "select" function, and then restores the original signal mask.

       Other  than  the  difference  in  the  precision  of  the  timeout argument, the following
       pselect() call:

           ready = pselect(nfds, &readfds, &writefds, &exceptfds,
                           timeout, &sigmask);

       is equivalent to atomically executing the following calls:

           sigset_t origmask;

           pthread_sigmask(SIG_SETMASK, &sigmask, &origmask);
           ready = select(nfds, &readfds, &writefds, &exceptfds, timeout);
           pthread_sigmask(SIG_SETMASK, &origmask, NULL);

       The reason that pselect() is needed is that if one wants to wait for either  a  signal  or
       for  a  file  descriptor  to  become  ready, then an atomic test is needed to prevent race
       conditions.  (Suppose the signal handler sets a global flag and returns.  Then a  test  of
       this  global  flag  followed  by  a call of select() could hang indefinitely if the signal
       arrived just after the test but just before the call.  By contrast, pselect()  allows  one
       to first block signals, handle the signals that have come in, then call pselect() with the
       desired sigmask, avoiding the race.)

   The timeout
       The time structures involved are defined in <sys/time.h> and look like

           struct timeval {
               long    tv_sec;         /* seconds */
               long    tv_usec;        /* microseconds */
           };

       and

           struct timespec {
               long    tv_sec;         /* seconds */
               long    tv_nsec;        /* nanoseconds */
           };

       (However, see below on the POSIX.1 versions.)

       Some code calls select() with all three sets empty, nfds zero, and a non-NULL timeout as a
       fairly portable way to sleep with subsecond precision.

       On  Linux,  select()  modifies timeout to reflect the amount of time not slept; most other
       implementations do not do this.  (POSIX.1 permits either behavior.)  This causes  problems
       both  when  Linux  code which reads timeout is ported to other operating systems, and when
       code is ported to Linux that reuses a struct timeval for  multiple  select()s  in  a  loop
       without reinitializing it.  Consider timeout to be undefined after select() returns.

RETURN VALUE

       On  success, select() and pselect() return the number of file descriptors contained in the
       three returned descriptor sets (that is, the total number of bits that are set in readfds,
       writefds,  exceptfds) which may be zero if the timeout expires before anything interesting
       happens.  On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set  to  indicate  the  error;  the  file
       descriptor sets are unmodified, and timeout becomes undefined.

ERRORS

       EBADF  An  invalid  file  descriptor  was  given  in  one  of  the  sets.  (Perhaps a file
              descriptor that was already closed,  or  one  on  which  an  error  has  occurred.)
              However, see BUGS.

       EINTR  A signal was caught; see signal(7).

       EINVAL nfds is negative or exceeds the RLIMIT_NOFILE resource limit (see getrlimit(2)).

       EINVAL The value contained within timeout is invalid.

       ENOMEM Unable to allocate memory for internal tables.

VERSIONS

       pselect()  was  added to Linux in kernel 2.6.16.  Prior to this, pselect() was emulated in
       glibc (but see BUGS).

CONFORMING TO

       select() conforms to POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, and 4.4BSD (select()  first  appeared  in
       4.2BSD).   Generally  portable to/from non-BSD systems supporting clones of the BSD socket
       layer (including System V variants).  However, note that the  System V  variant  typically
       sets the timeout variable before exit, but the BSD variant does not.

       pselect() is defined in POSIX.1g, and in POSIX.1-2001 and POSIX.1-2008.

NOTES

       An  fd_set is a fixed size buffer.  Executing FD_CLR() or FD_SET() with a value of fd that
       is negative or is equal to or larger than FD_SETSIZE will result  in  undefined  behavior.
       Moreover, POSIX requires fd to be a valid file descriptor.

       On some other UNIX systems, select() can fail with the error EAGAIN if the system fails to
       allocate kernel-internal resources, rather than ENOMEM as  Linux  does.   POSIX  specifies
       this  error  for  poll(2),  but not for select().  Portable programs may wish to check for
       EAGAIN and loop, just as with EINTR.

       On systems that lack pselect(), reliable  (and  more  portable)  signal  trapping  can  be
       achieved  using the self-pipe trick.  In this technique, a signal handler writes a byte to
       a pipe whose other end is monitored by select() in the main program.  (To  avoid  possibly
       blocking when writing to a pipe that may be full or reading from a pipe that may be empty,
       nonblocking I/O is used when reading from and writing to the pipe.)

       Concerning the types involved, the classical situation is that the two fields of a timeval
       structure  are  typed  as  long  (as  shown  above),  and  the  structure  is  defined  in
       <sys/time.h>.  The POSIX.1 situation is

           struct timeval {
               time_t         tv_sec;     /* seconds */
               suseconds_t    tv_usec;    /* microseconds */
           };

       where the structure is defined in <sys/select.h> and the data types time_t and suseconds_t
       are defined in <sys/types.h>.

       Concerning  prototypes,  the  classical  situation is that one should include <time.h> for
       select().  The POSIX.1 situation is that one should include  <sys/select.h>  for  select()
       and pselect().

       Under  glibc 2.0, <sys/select.h> gives the wrong prototype for pselect().  Under glibc 2.1
       to 2.2.1, it gives  pselect()  when  _GNU_SOURCE  is  defined.   Since  glibc  2.2.2,  the
       requirements are as shown in the SYNOPSIS.

   Correspondence between select() and poll() notifications
       Within  the  Linux  kernel  source,  we  find  the  following  definitions  which show the
       correspondence between the readable, writable, and exceptional condition notifications  of
       select() and the event notifications provided by poll(2) (and epoll(7)):

           #define POLLIN_SET (POLLRDNORM | POLLRDBAND | POLLIN | POLLHUP |
                               POLLERR)
                              /* Ready for reading */
           #define POLLOUT_SET (POLLWRBAND | POLLWRNORM | POLLOUT | POLLERR)
                              /* Ready for writing */
           #define POLLEX_SET (POLLPRI)
                              /* Exceptional condition */

   Multithreaded applications
       If  a  file descriptor being monitored by select() is closed in another thread, the result
       is unspecified.  On some UNIX systems, select() unblocks and returns, with  an  indication
       that  the  file  descriptor  is ready (a subsequent I/O operation will likely fail with an
       error, unless another the file descriptor reopened between the time select() returned  and
       the  I/O  operations  was performed).  On Linux (and some other systems), closing the file
       descriptor in another thread has no effect on select().  In summary, any application  that
       relies on a particular behavior in this scenario must be considered buggy.

   C library/kernel differences
       The  Linux kernel allows file descriptor sets of arbitrary size, determining the length of
       the sets to be checked from the value of nfds.  However, in the glibc implementation,  the
       fd_set type is fixed in size.  See also BUGS.

       The  pselect()  interface  described in this page is implemented by glibc.  The underlying
       Linux system call is named pselect6().  This system call has somewhat  different  behavior
       from the glibc wrapper function.

       The  Linux  pselect6()  system  call  modifies  its  timeout argument.  However, the glibc
       wrapper function hides this behavior by using a local variable for  the  timeout  argument
       that is passed to the system call.  Thus, the glibc pselect() function does not modify its
       timeout argument; this is the behavior required by POSIX.1-2001.

       The final argument of the pselect6() system call is  not  a  sigset_t *  pointer,  but  is
       instead a structure of the form:

           struct {
               const kernel_sigset_t *ss;   /* Pointer to signal set */
               size_t ss_len;               /* Size (in bytes) of object
                                               pointed to by 'ss' */
           };

       This allows the system call to obtain both a pointer to the signal set and its size, while
       allowing for the fact that most architectures support a maximum of 6 arguments to a system
       call.   See  sigprocmask(2) for a discussion of the difference between the kernel and libc
       notion of the signal set.

BUGS

       POSIX allows an implementation to define an  upper  limit,  advertised  via  the  constant
       FD_SETSIZE,  on  the  range of file descriptors that can be specified in a file descriptor
       set.  The Linux kernel imposes no fixed limit, but the glibc implementation makes fd_set a
       fixed-size  type,  with  FD_SETSIZE  defined  as  1024,  and  the  FD_*() macros operating
       according to that limit.  To monitor file  descriptors  greater  than  1023,  use  poll(2)
       instead.

       According to POSIX, select() should check all specified file descriptors in the three file
       descriptor sets, up to the limit nfds-1.  However, the current implementation ignores  any
       file descriptor in these sets that is greater than the maximum file descriptor number that
       the process currently has open.  According to POSIX, any  such  file  descriptor  that  is
       specified in one of the sets should result in the error EBADF.

       Glibc 2.0 provided a version of pselect() that did not take a sigmask argument.

       Starting  with  version 2.1, glibc provided an emulation of pselect() that was implemented
       using sigprocmask(2) and select().  This implementation remained vulnerable  to  the  very
       race  condition  that pselect() was designed to prevent.  Modern versions of glibc use the
       (race-free) pselect() system call on kernels where it is provided.

       Under Linux, select() may report a socket file descriptor as "ready  for  reading",  while
       nevertheless  a  subsequent  read  blocks.   This  could  for example happen when data has
       arrived but upon examination has wrong checksum and is  discarded.   There  may  be  other
       circumstances  in which a file descriptor is spuriously reported as ready.  Thus it may be
       safer to use O_NONBLOCK on sockets that should not block.

       On Linux, select() also modifies timeout if the call is interrupted by  a  signal  handler
       (i.e.,  the  EINTR  error return).  This is not permitted by POSIX.1.  The Linux pselect()
       system call has the same behavior, but the glibc wrapper hides this behavior by internally
       copying the timeout to a local variable and passing that variable to the system call.

EXAMPLE

       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <sys/time.h>
       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <unistd.h>

       int
       main(void)
       {
           fd_set rfds;
           struct timeval tv;
           int retval;

           /* Watch stdin (fd 0) to see when it has input. */

           FD_ZERO(&rfds);
           FD_SET(0, &rfds);

           /* Wait up to five seconds. */

           tv.tv_sec = 5;
           tv.tv_usec = 0;

           retval = select(1, &rfds, NULL, NULL, &tv);
           /* Don't rely on the value of tv now! */

           if (retval == -1)
               perror("select()");
           else if (retval)
               printf("Data is available now.\n");
               /* FD_ISSET(0, &rfds) will be true. */
           else
               printf("No data within five seconds.\n");

           exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
       }

SEE ALSO

       accept(2),   connect(2),   poll(2),   read(2),   recv(2),   restart_syscall(2),   send(2),
       sigprocmask(2), write(2), epoll(7), time(7)

       For a tutorial with discussion and examples, see select_tut(2).

COLOPHON

       This page is part of release 4.16 of the Linux man-pages project.  A  description  of  the
       project,  information  about  reporting  bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be
       found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.