lseek - move read/write file pointer
#include <sys/types.h> #include <unistd.h> off_t lseek(int fildes, off_t offset, int whence);
The lseek() function sets the file pointer associated with the open file descriptor specified by fildes as follows:
The symbolic constants SEEK_SET, SEEK_CUR, SEEK_END, SEEK_HOLE, and SEEK_DATA are defined in the header <unistd.h>.
Some devices are incapable of seeking. The value of the file pointer associated with such a device is undefined.
The lseek() function allows the file pointer to be set beyond the existing data in the file. If data are later written at this point, subsequent reads in the gap between the previous end of data and the newly written data will return bytes of value 0 until data are written into the gap.
If fildes is a remote file descriptor and offset is negative, lseek() returns the file pointer even if it is negative. The lseek() function will not, by itself, extend the size of a file.
If fildes refers to a shared memory object, lseek() behaves as if fildes referred to a regular file.
A "hole" is defined as a contiguous range of bytes in a file, all having the value of zero, but not all zeros in a file are guaranteed to be represented as holes returned with SEEK_HOLE. Filesystems are allowed to expose ranges of zeros with SEEK_HOLE, but not required to. Applications can use SEEK_HOLE to optimise their behavior for ranges of zeros, but must not depend on it to find all such ranges in a file. The existence of a hole at the end of every data region allows for easy programming and implies that a virtual hole exists at the end of the file. Applications should use fpathconf(_PC_MIN_HOLE_SIZE) or pathconf(_PC_MIN_HOLE_SIZE) to determine if a filesystem supports SEEK_HOLE. See fpathconf(2).
For filesystems that do not supply information about holes, the file will be represented as one entire data region.
Upon successful completion, the resulting offset, as measured in bytes from the beginning of the file, is returned. Otherwise, (off_t)-1 is returned, the file offset remains unchanged, and errno is set to indicate the error.
The lseek() function will fail if:
The lseek() function has a transitional interface for 64-bit file offsets. See lf64(5).
In multithreaded applications, using lseek() in conjunction with a read(2) or write(2) call on a file descriptor shared by more than one thread is not an atomic operation. To ensure atomicity, use pread() or pwrite().
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
creat(2), dup(2), fcntl(2), fpathconf(2), open(2), read(2), write(2), attributes(5), lf64(5), standards(5)
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Created 1996-2023 by Maxim Chirkov
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