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NAME

       utimensat, futimens - change file timestamps with nanosecond precision

SYNOPSIS

       #include <fcntl.h> /* Definition of AT_* constants */
       #include <sys/stat.h>

       int utimensat(int dirfd, const char *pathname,
                     const struct timespec times[2], int flags);

       int futimens(int fd, const struct timespec times[2]);

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

       utimensat():
           Since glibc 2.10:
               _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
           Before glibc 2.10:
               _ATFILE_SOURCE
       futimens():
           Since glibc 2.10:
                  _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
           Before glibc 2.10:
                  _GNU_SOURCE

DESCRIPTION

       utimensat()  and  futimens()  update  the  timestamps of a file with nanosecond precision.
       This contrasts with the historical utime(2) and utimes(2), which permit  only  second  and
       microsecond precision, respectively, when setting file timestamps.

       With  utimensat()  the  file  is  specified  via  the  pathname  given  in pathname.  With
       futimens() the file whose timestamps are to be updated  is  specified  via  an  open  file
       descriptor, fd.

       For  both  calls,  the  new  file  timestamps  are  specified in the array times: times[0]
       specifies  the  new  "last  access  time"  (atime);  times[1]  specifies  the  new   "last
       modification  time" (mtime).  Each of the elements of times specifies a time as the number
       of seconds and nanoseconds  since  the  Epoch,  1970-01-01  00:00:00  +0000  (UTC).   This
       information is conveyed in a structure of the following form:

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

       Updated  file timestamps are set to the greatest value supported by the filesystem that is
       not greater than the specified time.

       If the tv_nsec field of one of the timespec structures has the  special  value  UTIME_NOW,
       then the corresponding file timestamp is set to the current time.  If the tv_nsec field of
       one of the timespec structures has the special value UTIME_OMIT,  then  the  corresponding
       file  timestamp is left unchanged.  In both of these cases, the value of the corresponding
       tv_sec field is ignored.

       If times is NULL, then both timestamps are set to the current time.

   Permissions requirements
       To set both file timestamps to the current time (i.e., times  is  NULL,  or  both  tv_nsec
       fields specify UTIME_NOW), either:

       1. the caller must have write access to the file;

       2. the caller's effective user ID must match the owner of the file; or

       3. the caller must have appropriate privileges.

       To  make any change other than setting both timestamps to the current time (i.e., times is
       not NULL, and neither tv_nsec field is UTIME_NOW and neither tv_nsec field is UTIME_OMIT),
       either condition 2 or 3 above must apply.

       If  both  tv_nsec fields are specified as UTIME_OMIT, then no file ownership or permission
       checks are performed, and the file timestamps are not modified, but other error conditions
       may still be detected.

   utimensat() specifics
       If  pathname  is  relative,  then  by  default it is interpreted relative to the directory
       referred to by the open file descriptor,  dirfd  (rather  than  relative  to  the  current
       working  directory  of  the  calling  process,  as  is  done  by  utimes(2) for a relative
       pathname).  See openat(2) for an explanation of why this can be useful.

       If pathname is relative and  dirfd  is  the  special  value  AT_FDCWD,  then  pathname  is
       interpreted  relative  to  the  current  working  directory  of  the calling process (like
       utimes(2)).

       If pathname is absolute, then dirfd is ignored.

       The flags field is a bit mask that may be 0, or include the following constant, defined in
       <fcntl.h>:

       AT_SYMLINK_NOFOLLOW
              If  pathname  specifies  a  symbolic  link, then update the timestamps of the link,
              rather than the file to which it refers.

RETURN VALUE

       On success, utimensat() and futimens() return 0.  On error, -1 is returned  and  errno  is
       set to indicate the error.

ERRORS

       EACCES times is NULL, or both tv_nsec values are UTIME_NOW, and either:

              *  the  effective  user  ID of the caller does not match the owner of the file, the
                 caller does not have write access to the file, and the caller is not  privileged
                 (Linux: does not have either the CAP_FOWNER or the CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE capability);
                 or,

              *  the file is marked immutable (see chattr(1)).

       EBADF  (futimens()) fd is not a valid file descriptor.

       EBADF  (utimensat()) pathname is a relative pathname, but dirfd is neither AT_FDCWD nor  a
              valid file descriptor.

       EFAULT times  pointed  to an invalid address; or, dirfd was AT_FDCWD, and pathname is NULL
              or an invalid address.

       EINVAL Invalid value in flags.

       EINVAL Invalid value in one of the tv_nsec fields (value outside range 0  to  999,999,999,
              and not UTIME_NOW or UTIME_OMIT); or an invalid value in one of the tv_sec fields.

       EINVAL pathname is NULL, dirfd is not AT_FDCWD, and flags contains AT_SYMLINK_NOFOLLOW.

       ELOOP  (utimensat()) Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving pathname.

       ENAMETOOLONG
              (utimensat()) pathname is too long.

       ENOENT (utimensat())  A  component  of pathname does not refer to an existing directory or
              file, or pathname is an empty string.

       ENOTDIR
              (utimensat()) pathname is a relative pathname, but dirfd is neither AT_FDCWD nor  a
              file  descriptor  referring  to  a  directory;  or, one of the prefix components of
              pathname is not a directory.

       EPERM  The caller attempted to change one or both timestamps to a  value  other  than  the
              current  time, or to change one of the timestamps to the current time while leaving
              the other timestamp unchanged, (i.e., times is not NULL, neither tv_nsec  field  is
              UTIME_NOW, and neither tv_nsec field is UTIME_OMIT) and either:

              *  the  caller's effective user ID does not match the owner of file, and the caller
                 is not privileged (Linux: does not have the CAP_FOWNER capability); or,

              *  the file is marked append-only or immutable (see chattr(1)).

       EROFS  The file is on a read-only filesystem.

       ESRCH  (utimensat()) Search permission is denied for  one  of  the  prefix  components  of
              pathname.

VERSIONS

       utimensat() was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.22; glibc support was added with version 2.6.

       Support for futimens() first appeared in glibc 2.6.

ATTRIBUTES

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

       ┌────────────────────────┬───────────────┬─────────┐
       │InterfaceAttributeValue   │
       ├────────────────────────┼───────────────┼─────────┤
       │utimensat(), futimens() │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe │
       └────────────────────────┴───────────────┴─────────┘

CONFORMING TO

       futimens() and utimensat() are specified in POSIX.1-2008.

NOTES

       utimensat() obsoletes futimesat(2).

       On  Linux,  timestamps  cannot be changed for a file marked immutable, and the only change
       permitted for files marked append-only is to set  the  timestamps  to  the  current  time.
       (This is consistent with the historical behavior of utime(2) and utimes(2) on Linux.)

       If  both  tv_nsec  fields  are  specified  as UTIME_OMIT, then the Linux implementation of
       utimensat() succeeds even if the file referred to by dirfd and pathname does not exist.

   C library/kernel ABI differences
       On Linux, futimens() is a library function implemented on top of  the  utimensat()  system
       call.   To  support  this,  the  Linux  utimensat()  system  call implements a nonstandard
       feature: if pathname is NULL, then the call modifies the timestamps of the  file  referred
       to  by  the  file  descriptor  dirfd  (which  may  refer to any type of file).  Using this
       feature, the call futimens(fd, times) is implemented as:

           utimensat(fd, NULL, times, 0);

       Note, however, that the glibc wrapper for utimensat() disallows passing NULL as the  value
       for pathname: the wrapper function returns the error EINVAL in this case.

BUGS

       Several  bugs afflict utimensat() and futimens() on kernels before 2.6.26.  These bugs are
       either nonconformances with  the  POSIX.1  draft  specification  or  inconsistencies  with
       historical Linux behavior.

       *  POSIX.1  specifies  that  if  one  of  the  tv_nsec  fields  has the value UTIME_NOW or
          UTIME_OMIT, then the value  of  the  corresponding  tv_sec  field  should  be  ignored.
          Instead,  the  value  of  the  tv_sec  field  is  required to be 0 (or the error EINVAL
          results).

       *  Various bugs mean that for the purposes of permission checking,  the  case  where  both
          tv_nsec  fields  are set to UTIME_NOW isn't always treated the same as specifying times
          as NULL, and the case where one tv_nsec value is UTIME_NOW and the other is  UTIME_OMIT
          isn't  treated  the  same  as  specifying  times as a pointer to an array of structures
          containing arbitrary time values.  As a result, in some cases: a) file  timestamps  can
          be  updated  by  a  process  that shouldn't have permission to perform updates; b) file
          timestamps can't be updated by  a  process  that  should  have  permission  to  perform
          updates; and c) the wrong errno value is returned in case of an error.

       *  POSIX.1  says  that  a  process  that has write access to the file can make a call with
          times as NULL, or with times pointing to an array of structures in which  both  tv_nsec
          fields are UTIME_NOW, in order to update both timestamps to the current time.  However,
          futimens() instead checks whether  the  access  mode  of  the  file  descriptor  allows
          writing.

SEE ALSO

       chattr(1),  touch(1),  futimesat(2),  openat(2), stat(2), utimes(2), futimes(3), inode(7),
       path_resolution(7), symlink(7)

COLOPHON

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       project,  information  about  reporting  bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be
       found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.