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


lseek - reposition read/write file offset


#include <unistd.h> off_t lseek(int fildes, off_t offset, int whence);


The lseek function repositions the offset of the file descriptor fildes to the argument offset according to the directive whence. The argument fildes must be an open file descriptor. Lseek repositions the file pointer fildes as follows: If whence is SEEK_SET, the offset is set to offset bytes. If whence is SEEK_CUR, the offset is set to its current location plus offset bytes. If whence is SEEK_END, the offset is set to the size of the file plus offset bytes. The lseek function allows the file offset to be set beyond the end of the existing end-of-file of the file. If data is later written at this point, subsequent reads of the data in the gap return bytes of zeros (until data is actu- ally written into the gap). Some devices are incapable of seeking. The value of the pointer associated with such a device is undefined.


Upon successful completion, lseek returns the resulting offset location as measured in bytes from the beginning of the file. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.


EBADF Fildes is not an open file descriptor. ESPIPE Fildes is associated with a pipe, socket, or FIFO. EINVAL Whence is not a proper value.




This document's use of whence is incorrect English, but maintained for historical reasons.

Linux 1.2.9 10 June 1995 1

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


dup, open, fseek,

Linux 1.2.9 10 June 1995 2

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