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



NAME
       readv, writev, preadv, pwritev - read or write data into multiple buffers

SYNOPSIS
       #include <sys/uio.h>

       ssize_t readv(int fd, const struct iovec *iov, int iovcnt);

       ssize_t writev(int fd, const struct iovec *iov, int iovcnt);

       ssize_t preadv(int fd, const struct iovec *iov, int iovcnt,
                      off_t offset);

       ssize_t pwritev(int fd, const struct iovec *iov, int iovcnt,
                       off_t offset);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       preadv(), pwritev(): _BSD_SOURCE

DESCRIPTION
       The  readv()  system  call  reads  iovcnt buffers from the file associated with the file descriptor fd into the
       buffers described by iov ("scatter input").

       The writev() system call writes iovcnt buffers of data described by iov to the file associated  with  the  file
       descriptor fd ("gather output").

       The pointer iov points to an array of iovec structures, defined in <sys/uio.h> as:

           struct iovec {
               void  *iov_base;    /* Starting address */
               size_t iov_len;     /* Number of bytes to transfer */
           };

       The readv() system call works just like read(2) except that multiple buffers are filled.

       The writev() system call works just like write(2) except that multiple buffers are written out.

       Buffers  are  processed  in  array order.  This means that readv() completely fills iov[0] before proceeding to
       iov[1], and so on.  (If there is insufficient data, then not all buffers pointed to  by  iov  may  be  filled.)
       Similarly, writev() writes out the entire contents of iov[0] before proceeding to iov[1], and so on.

       The  data  transfers performed by readv() and writev() are atomic: the data written by writev() is written as a
       single block that is not intermingled with output from writes in other processes (but see pipe(7) for an excep-
       tion);  analogously, readv() is guaranteed to read a contiguous block of data from the file, regardless of read
       operations performed in other threads or processes that have file descriptors referring to the same  open  file
       description (see open(2)).

   preadv() and pwritev()
       The  preadv()  system  call  combines  the functionality of readv() and pread(2).  It performs the same task as
       readv(), but adds a fourth argument, offset, which specifies the file offset at which the input operation is to
       be performed.

       The  pwritev()  system call combines the functionality of writev() and pwrite(2).  It performs the same task as
       writev(), but adds a fourth argument, offset, which specifies the file offset at which the output operation  is
       to be performed.

       The file offset is not changed by these system calls.  The file referred to by fd must be capable of seeking.

RETURN VALUE
       On  success,  readv() and preadv() return the number of bytes read; writev() and pwritev() return the number of
       bytes written.  On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.

ERRORS
       The errors are as given for read(2) and write(2).  Furthermore, preadv() and pwritev() can also  fail  for  the
       same reasons as lseek(2).  Additionally, the following error is defined:

       EINVAL The sum of the iov_len values overflows an ssize_t value.  Or, the vector count iovcnt is less than zero
              or greater than the permitted maximum.

VERSIONS
       preadv() and pwritev() first appeared in Linux 2.6.30; library support was added in glibc 2.10.

CONFORMING TO
       readv(), writev(): 4.4BSD (these system calls first appeared in 4.2BSD), POSIX.1-2001.  Linux libc5 used size_t
       as the type of the iovcnt argument, and int as the return type.

       preadv(), pwritev(): nonstandard, but present also on the modern BSDs.

NOTES
   Linux Notes
       POSIX.1-2001  allows  an  implementation to place a limit on the number of items that can be passed in iov.  An
       implementation can advertise its limit by defining IOV_MAX in <limits.h> or at run time via  the  return  value
       from  sysconf(_SC_IOV_MAX).  On Linux, the limit advertised by these mechanisms is 1024, which is the true ker-
       nel limit.  However, the glibc wrapper functions do some extra work if they detect that the  underlying  kernel
       system  call  failed  because this limit was exceeded.  In the case of readv() the wrapper function allocates a
       temporary buffer large enough for all of the items specified by iov, passes that buffer in a call  to  read(2),
       copies  data from the buffer to the locations specified by the iov_base fields of the elements of iov, and then
       frees the buffer.  The wrapper function for writev() performs the analogous task using a temporary buffer and a
       call to write(2).

BUGS
       It  is not advisable to mix calls to readv() or writev(), which operate on file descriptors, with the functions
       from the stdio library; the results will be undefined and probably not what you want.

EXAMPLE
       The following code sample demonstrates the use of writev():

           char *str0 = "hello ";
           char *str1 = "world\n";
           struct iovec iov[2];
           ssize_t nwritten;

           iov[0].iov_base = str0;
           iov[0].iov_len = strlen(str0);
           iov[1].iov_base = str1;
           iov[1].iov_len = strlen(str1);

           nwritten = writev(STDOUT_FILENO, iov, 2);

SEE ALSO
       pread(2), read(2), write(2)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.32 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project,  and  informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



Linux                             2010-11-17                          READV(2)