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

       read - read from a file descriptor

       #include <unistd.h>

       ssize_t read(int fd, void *buf, size_t count);

       read() attempts to read up to count bytes from file descriptor fd into the buffer starting
       at buf.

       On files that support seeking, the read operation commences at the  current  file  offset,
       and  the file offset is incremented by the number of bytes read.  If the current file off‐
       set is at or past the end of file, no bytes are read, and read() returns zero.

       If count is zero, read() may detect the errors described below.  In  the  absence  of  any
       errors,  or  if  read() does not check for errors, a read() with a count of 0 returns zero
       and has no other effects.

       If count is greater than SSIZE_MAX, the result is unspecified.

       On success, the number of bytes read is returned (zero indicates end  of  file),  and  the
       file  position  is  advanced by this number.  It is not an error if this number is smaller
       than the number of bytes requested; this may happen for example because  fewer  bytes  are
       actually  available  right  now (maybe because we were close to end-of-file, or because we
       are reading from a pipe, or from a terminal), or because read() was interrupted by a  sig‐
       nal.   On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.  In this case, it is left
       unspecified whether the file position (if any) changes.

       EAGAIN The file descriptor fd refers to a file other than a socket  and  has  been  marked
              nonblocking (O_NONBLOCK), and the read would block.

              The  file  descriptor fd refers to a socket and has been marked nonblocking (O_NON‐
              BLOCK), and the read would block.  POSIX.1-2001 allows either error to be  returned
              for  this  case,  and does not require these constants to have the same value, so a
              portable application should check for both possibilities.

       EBADF  fd is not a valid file descriptor or is not open for reading.

       EFAULT buf is outside your accessible address space.

       EINTR  The call was interrupted by a signal before any data was read; see signal(7).

       EINVAL fd is attached to an object which is unsuitable for reading; or the file was opened
              with  the  O_DIRECT flag, and either the address specified in buf, the value speci‐
              fied in count, or the current file offset is not suitably aligned.

       EINVAL fd was created via a call to timerfd_create(2) and the wrong size buffer was  given
              to read(); see timerfd_create(2) for further information.

       EIO    I/O  error.   This  will  happen  for  example  when the process is in a background
              process group, tries to read from its controlling terminal, and either it is ignor‐
              ing  or  blocking SIGTTIN or its process group is orphaned.  It may also occur when
              there is a low-level I/O error while reading from a disk or tape.

       EISDIR fd refers to a directory.

       Other errors may occur, depending on the object connected to fd.  POSIX  allows  a  read()
       that  is  interrupted after reading some data to return -1 (with errno set to EINTR) or to
       return the number of bytes already read.

       SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001.

       On NFS filesystems, reading small amounts of data will update the timestamp only the first
       time,  subsequent  calls  may not do so.  This is caused by client side attribute caching,
       because most if not all NFS clients leave st_atime (last file access time) updates to  the
       server  and  client  side  reads satisfied from the client's cache will not cause st_atime
       updates on the server as there are no server side reads.  UNIX semantics can  be  obtained
       by disabling client side attribute caching, but in most situations this will substantially
       increase server load and decrease performance.

       According to POSIX.1-2008/SUSv4 Section XSI 2.9.7 ("Thread Interactions with Regular  File

           All  of  the  following  functions  shall  be atomic with respect to each other in the
           effects specified in POSIX.1-2008 when they  operate  on  regular  files  or  symbolic
           links: ...

       Among  the  APIs  subsequently listed are read() and readv(2).  And among the effects that
       should be atomic across threads (and processes) are updates of the file offset.   However,
       on  Linux  before version 3.14, this was not the case: if two processes that share an open
       file description (see open(2)) perform a read() (or readv(2)) at the same time,  then  the
       I/O operations were not atomic with respect updating the file offset, with the result that
       the reads in the two processes might (incorrectly) overlap in the blocks of data that they
       obtained.  This problem was fixed in Linux 3.14.

       close(2),  fcntl(2),  ioctl(2),  lseek(2),  open(2),  pread(2),  readdir(2),  readlink(2),
       readv(2), select(2), write(2), fread(3)

       This page is part of release 3.74 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                                       2014-05-04                                    READ(2)

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