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NAME

       lseek - reposition read/write file offset

SYNOPSIS

       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <unistd.h>

       off_t lseek(int fd, off_t offset, int whence);

DESCRIPTION

       The  lseek()  function  repositions  the  offset of the open file associated with the file
       descriptor fd to the argument offset according to the directive whence as follows:

       SEEK_SET
              The offset is set to offset bytes.

       SEEK_CUR
              The offset is set to its current location plus offset bytes.

       SEEK_END
              The offset is set to the size of the file plus offset bytes.

       The lseek() function allows the file offset to be set beyond the end of the file (but this
       does not change the size of the file).  If data is later written at this point, subsequent
       reads of the data in the gap (a "hole") return null bytes ('\0') until  data  is  actually
       written into the gap.

   Seeking file data and holes
       Since version 3.1, Linux supports the following additional values for whence:

       SEEK_DATA
              Adjust  the  file  offset to the next location in the file greater than or equal to
              offset containing data.  If offset points to data, then the file offset is  set  to
              offset.

       SEEK_HOLE
              Adjust  the  file  offset  to  the  next  hole in the file greater than or equal to
              offset.  If offset points into the middle of a hole, then the file offset is set to
              offset.   If  there is no hole past offset, then the file offset is adjusted to the
              end of the file (i.e., there is an implicit hole at the end of any file).

       In both of the above cases, lseek() fails if offset points past the end of the file.

       These operations allow applications to map holes in a sparsely allocated file.   This  can
       be  useful  for applications such as file backup tools, which can save space when creating
       backups and preserve holes, if they have a mechanism for discovering holes.

       For the purposes of these operations, a hole is a sequence of zeros  that  (normally)  has
       not  been allocated in the underlying file storage.  However, a file system is not obliged
       to report holes, so these operations are  not  a  guaranteed  mechanism  for  mapping  the
       storage  space  actually  allocated  to  a  file.   (Furthermore, a sequence of zeros that
       actually has been written to the underlying storage may not be reported as  a  hole.)   In
       the  simplest implementation, a file system can support the operations by making SEEK_HOLE
       always return the offset of the end of the file, and making SEEK_DATA always return offset
       (i.e.,  even  if  the  location  referred  to by offset is a hole, it can be considered to
       consist of data that is a sequence of zeros).

RETURN VALUE

       Upon successful completion, lseek() returns the resulting offset location as  measured  in
       bytes  from  the  beginning  of  the file.  On error, the value (off_t) -1 is returned and
       errno is set to indicate the error.

ERRORS

       EBADF  fd is not an open file descriptor.

       EINVAL whence is not valid.  Or: the resulting file offset would be  negative,  or  beyond
              the end of a seekable device.

       EOVERFLOW
              The resulting file offset cannot be represented in an off_t.

       ESPIPE fd is associated with a pipe, socket, or FIFO.

       ENXIO  whence  is SEEK_DATA or SEEK_HOLE, and the current file offset is beyond the end of
              the file.

CONFORMING TO

       SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001.

       SEEK_DATA and SEEK_HOLE are nonstandard extensions also present in Solaris,  FreeBSD,  and
       DragonFly BSD; they are proposed for inclusion in the next POSIX revision (Issue 8).

NOTES

       Some  devices  are  incapable  of  seeking  and  POSIX does not specify which devices must
       support lseek().

       On Linux, using lseek() on a tty device returns ESPIPE.

       When converting old code, substitute values for whence with the following macros:

        old       new
       0        SEEK_SET
       1        SEEK_CUR
       2        SEEK_END
       L_SET    SEEK_SET
       L_INCR   SEEK_CUR
       L_XTND   SEEK_END

       Note that file descriptors created by dup(2) or fork(2) share the  current  file  position
       pointer, so seeking on such files may be subject to race conditions.

SEE ALSO

       dup(2), fork(2), open(2), fseek(3), lseek64(3), posix_fallocate(3)

COLOPHON

       This  page  is  part of release 3.35 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at  http://man7.org/linux/man-
       pages/.