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


     sendfile - transfer data between file descriptors


     #include <sys/sendfile.h>
     ssize_t sendfile(int out_fd, int in_fd, off_t *offset, size_t count);


     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 file offset of in_fd; otherwise the 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
     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.


     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.


     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.
            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.


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


     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.


     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 file descriptors provided one (or both) of them is a pipe.


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


     This  page  is  part of release 4.16 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

Linux 2017-09-15 SENDFILE(2)

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