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


     posix_fadvise - predeclare an access pattern for file data


     #include <fcntl.h>
     int posix_fadvise(int fd, off_t offset, off_t len, int advice);
 Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
         _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L


     Programs  can  use  posix_fadvise()  to announce an intention to access
     file data in a specific pattern in the future, thus allowing the kernel
     to perform appropriate optimizations.
     The  advice  applies to a (not necessarily existent) region starting at
     offset and extending for len bytes (or until the end of the file if len
     is 0) within the file referred to by fd.  The advice is not binding; it
     merely constitutes an expectation on behalf of the application.
     Permissible values for advice include:
            Indicates that the application has no advice to give  about  its
            access  pattern  for  the specified data.  If no advice is given
            for an open file, this is the default assumption.
            The application expects to access  the  specified  data  sequen-
            tially (with lower offsets read before higher ones).
            The specified data will be accessed in random order.
            The specified data will be accessed only once.
            In kernels before 2.6.18, POSIX_FADV_NOREUSE had the same seman-
            tics as POSIX_FADV_WILLNEED.  This was  probably  a  bug;  since
            kernel 2.6.18, this flag is a no-op.
            The specified data will be accessed in the near future.
            POSIX_FADV_WILLNEED  initiates  a nonblocking read of the speci-
            fied region into the page cache.  The amount of data read may be
            decreased  by  the  kernel depending on virtual memory load.  (A
            few megabytes will usually  be  fully  satisfied,  and  more  is
            rarely useful.)
            The specified data will not be accessed in the near future.
            POSIX_FADV_DONTNEED  attempts  to  free  cached pages associated
            with the specified region.  This is useful, for  example,  while
            streaming  large  files.  A program may periodically request the
            kernel to free cached data that has already been used,  so  that
            more useful cached pages are not discarded instead.
            Requests to discard partial pages are ignored.  It is preferable
            to preserve needed data than  discard  unneeded  data.   If  the
            application  requires  that  data  be considered for discarding,
            then offset and len must be page-aligned.
            The implementation may attempt to write back dirty pages in  the
            specified  region,  but  this  is not guaranteed.  Any unwritten
            dirty pages will not be freed.  If  the  application  wishes  to
            ensure  that  dirty  pages  will  be  released,  it  should call
            fsync(2) or fdatasync(2) first.


     On success, zero is returned.  On error, an error number is returned.


     EBADF  The fd argument was not a valid file descriptor.
     EINVAL An invalid value was specified for advice.
     ESPIPE The specified file descriptor refers to a pipe or FIFO.  (ESPIPE
            is  the  error  specified  by  POSIX,  but before kernel version
            2.6.16, Linux returned EINVAL in this case.)


     Kernel support first appeared in Linux 2.5.60;  the  underlying  system
     call  is  called  fadvise64().  Library support has been provided since
     glibc version 2.2, via the wrapper function posix_fadvise().
     Since Linux 3.18, support for the underlying system call  is  optional,
     depending  on  the  setting of the CONFIG_ADVISE_SYSCALLS configuration


     POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.  Note that the type of the len argument was
     changed from size_t to off_t in POSIX.1-2003 TC1.


     Under Linux, POSIX_FADV_NORMAL sets the readahead window to the default
     size for the backing device; POSIX_FADV_SEQUENTIAL doubles  this  size,
     and  POSIX_FADV_RANDOM disables file readahead entirely.  These changes
     affect the entire file, not just the specified region (but  other  open
     file handles to the same file are unaffected).
     The  contents  of  the  kernel  buffer  cache  can  be  cleared via the
     /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches interface described in proc(5).
     One can obtain a snapshot of which pages of a file are resident in  the
     buffer  cache  by  opening  a  file,  mapping it with mmap(2), and then
     applying mincore(2) to the mapping.
 C library/kernel differences
     The name of the wrapper function in the C library  is  posix_fadvise().
     The underlying system call is called fadvise64() (or, on some architec-
     tures, fadvise64_64()).
 Architecture-specific variants
     Some architectures require 64-bit arguments to be aligned in a suitable
     pair  of registers (see syscall(2) for further detail).  On such archi-
     tectures, the call signature of posix_fadvise() shown in  the  SYNOPSIS
     would  force a register to be wasted as padding between the fd and off-
     set arguments.  Therefore, these architectures define a version of  the
     system  call  that  orders  the  arguments  suitably,  but is otherwise
     exactly the same as posix_fadvise().
     For example, since Linux 2.6.14, ARM has the following system call:
         long      arm_fadvise64_64(int      fd,      int      advice,
         loff_t offset, loff_t len);
     These  architecture-specific details are generally hidden from applica-
     tions by the glibc posix_fadvise() wrapper function, which invokes  the
     appropriate architecture-specific system call.


     In  kernels  before  2.6.6,  if  len  was specified as 0, then this was
     interpreted literally as "zero bytes",  rather  than  as  meaning  "all
     bytes through to the end of the file".


     fincore(1),  mincore(2), readahead(2), sync_file_range(2), posix_fallo-
     cate(3), posix_madvise(3)


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Linux 2017-09-15 POSIX_FADVISE(2)

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