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NAME

       sendfile - transfer data between file descriptors

SYNOPSIS

       #include <sys/sendfile.h>

       ssize_t sendfile(int out_fd, int in_fd, off_t *offset, size_t count);

DESCRIPTION

       sendfile()  copies  data  between  one  file  descriptor  and  another.
       Because this copying is done within  the  kernel,  sendfile()  is  more
       efficient  than  the  combination  of read(2) and write(2), which would
       require transferring data to and from user space.

       in_fd should be a file descriptor opened for reading and out_fd  should
       be a descriptor opened for writing.

       If  offset  is  not NULL, then it points to a variable holding the file
       offset from which sendfile() will start reading data from in_fd.   When
       sendfile() returns, this variable will be set to the offset of the byte
       following the last byte that was read.  If offset  is  not  NULL,  then
       sendfile()  does not modify the current file offset of in_fd; otherwise
       the current file offset is adjusted to reflect the number of bytes read
       from in_fd.

       If  offset  is  NULL, then data will be read from in_fd starting at the
       current file offset, and the file offset will be updated by the call.

       count is the number of bytes to copy between the file descriptors.

       The  in_fd  argument  must  correspond  to  a   file   which   supports
       mmap(2)-like operations (i.e., it cannot be a socket).

       In  Linux  kernels before 2.6.33, out_fd must refer to a socket.  Since
       Linux 2.6.33 it can be any  file.   If  it  is  a  regular  file,  then
       sendfile() changes the file offset appropriately.

RETURN VALUE

       If  the  transfer was successful, the number of bytes written to out_fd
       is returned.  On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.

ERRORS

       EAGAIN Nonblocking I/O has been selected using O_NONBLOCK and the write
              would block.

       EBADF  The input file was not opened for reading or the output file was
              not opened for writing.

       EFAULT Bad address.

       EINVAL Descriptor is not valid or locked, or an mmap(2)-like  operation
              is not available for in_fd.

       EIO    Unspecified error while reading from in_fd.

       ENOMEM Insufficient memory to read from in_fd.

VERSIONS

       sendfile()   is   a  new  feature  in  Linux  2.2.   The  include  file
       <sys/sendfile.h> is present since glibc 2.1.

CONFORMING TO

       Not specified in POSIX.1-2001, or other standards.

       Other UNIX systems implement sendfile() with  different  semantics  and
       prototypes.  It should not be used in portable programs.

NOTES

       If  you  plan  to use sendfile() for sending files to a TCP socket, but
       need to send some header data in front of the file contents,  you  will
       find  it  useful to employ the TCP_CORK option, described in tcp(7), to
       minimize the number of packets and to tune performance.

       In Linux 2.4 and earlier, out_fd could also refer to  a  regular  file,
       and sendfile() changed the current offset of that file.

       The  original  Linux  sendfile() system call was not designed to handle
       large file offsets.  Consequently, Linux 2.4 added sendfile64(), with a
       wider  type  for  the  offset  argument.   The glibc sendfile() wrapper
       function transparently deals with the kernel differences.

       Applications may wish to fall back  to  read(2)/write(2)  in  the  case
       where sendfile() fails with EINVAL or ENOSYS.

       The  Linux-specific  splice(2)  call supports transferring data between
       arbitrary files (e.g., a pair of sockets).

SEE ALSO

       mmap(2), open(2), socket(2), splice(2)

COLOPHON

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