MKNOD(2) Linux Programmer's Manual MKNOD(2)
mknod - create a special or ordinary file
int mknod(const char *pathname, mode_t mode, dev_t dev);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
mknod(): _BSD_SOURCE || _SVID_SOURCE || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500
The system call mknod() creates a file system node (file, device spe-
cial file or named pipe) named pathname, with attributes specified by
mode and dev.
The mode argument specifies both the permissions to use and the type of
node to be created. It should be a combination (using bitwise OR) of
one of the file types listed below and the permissions for the new
The permissions are modified by the process's umask in the usual way:
the permissions of the created node are (mode & ~umask).
The file type must be one of S_IFREG, S_IFCHR, S_IFBLK, S_IFIFO or
S_IFSOCK to specify a regular file (which will be created empty), char-
acter special file, block special file, FIFO (named pipe), or Unix
domain socket, respectively. (Zero file type is equivalent to type
If the file type is S_IFCHR or S_IFBLK then dev specifies the major and
minor numbers of the newly created device special file; otherwise it is
If pathname already exists, or is a symbolic link, this call fails with
an EEXIST error.
The newly created node will be owned by the effective user ID of the
process. If the directory containing the node has the set-group-ID bit
set, or if the file system is mounted with BSD group semantics, the new
node will inherit the group ownership from its parent directory; other-
wise it will be owned by the effective group ID of the process.
mknod() returns zero on success, or -1 if an error occurred (in which
case, errno is set appropriately).
EACCES The parent directory does not allow write permission to the
process, or one of the directories in the path prefix of path-
name did not allow search permission. (See also path_resolu-
EEXIST pathname already exists. This includes the case where pathname
is a symbolic link, dangling or not.
EFAULT pathname points outside your accessible address space.
EINVAL mode requested creation of something other than a regular file,
device special file, FIFO or socket.
ELOOP Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving pathname.
pathname was too long.
ENOENT A directory component in pathname does not exist or is a dan-
gling symbolic link.
ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.
ENOSPC The device containing pathname has no room for the new node.
A component used as a directory in pathname is not, in fact, a
EPERM mode requested creation of something other than a regular file,
FIFO (named pipe), or Unix domain socket, and the caller is not
privileged (Linux: does not have the CAP_MKNOD capability); also
returned if the file system containing pathname does not support
the type of node requested.
EROFS pathname refers to a file on a read-only file system.
SVr4, 4.4BSD, POSIX.1-2001 (but see below).
POSIX.1-2001 says: "The only portable use of mknod() is to create a
FIFO-special file. If mode is not S_IFIFO or dev is not 0, the behav-
ior of mknod() is unspecified." However, nowadays one should never use
mknod() for this purpose; one should use mkfifo(3), a function espe-
cially defined for this purpose.
Under Linux, this call cannot be used to create directories. One
should make directories with mkdir(2).
There are many infelicities in the protocol underlying NFS. Some of
these affect mknod().
chmod(2), chown(2), fcntl(2), mkdir(2), mknodat(2), mount(2),
socket(2), stat(2), umask(2), unlink(2), mkfifo(3), path_resolution(7)
This page is part of release 3.05 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
Linux 2007-07-26 MKNOD(2)