sendfile

SENDFILE(2)                Linux Programmer's Manual               SENDFILE(2)

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  send-
       file() changes the file offset appropriately.

RETURN VALUE
       If  the  transfer was successful, the number of bytes written to out_fd
       is returned.  Note that a successful call to sendfile() may write fewer
       bytes  than  requested; the caller should be prepared to retry the call
       if there were unsent bytes.  See also NOTES.

       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, or count is negative.

       EINVAL out_fd  has  the  O_APPEND flag set.  This is not currently sup-
              ported by sendfile().

       EIO    Unspecified error while reading from in_fd.

       ENOMEM Insufficient memory to read from in_fd.

       EOVERFLOW
              count is too large, the operation would result in exceeding  the
              maximum size of either the input file or the output file.

       ESPIPE offset is not NULL but the input file is not seek(2)-able.

VERSIONS
       sendfile()  first  appeared  in Linux 2.2.  The include file <sys/send-
       file.h> is present since glibc 2.1.

CONFORMING TO
       Not specified in POSIX.1-2001, nor in other standards.

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

NOTES
       sendfile()  will  transfer  at  most  0x7ffff000 (2,147,479,552) bytes,
       returning the number of bytes actually transferred.  (This is  true  on
       both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.)

       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;
       this  possibility  went  away in the Linux 2.6.x kernel series, but was
       restored in Linux 2.6.33.

       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 func-
       tion 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.

       If out_fd refers to a socket or pipe with  zero-copy  support,  callers
       must  ensure  the transferred portions of the file referred to by in_fd
       remain unmodified until the reader on the other end of out_fd has  con-
       sumed the transferred data.

       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
       This page is part of release 4.04 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
       http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux                             2015-12-28                       SENDFILE(2)
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