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



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

SYNOPSIS
       #include <&lt;sys/uio.h>&gt;

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

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

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

       The writev() function 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
       &lt;sys/uio.h&gt; as:

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

       The  readv() function works just like read(2) except that multiple buf-
       fers are filled.

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

       Buffers  are  processed  in  array order.  This means that readv() com-
       pletely 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 exception); 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)).

RETURN VALUE
       On  success, the readv() function returns the number of bytes read; the
       writev() function returns 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).  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.

CONFORMING TO
       4.4BSD (the readv() and writev() functions first appeared  in  4.2BSD),
       POSIX.1-2001.   Linux libc5 used size_t as the type of the iovcnt argu-
       ment, and int as return type for these functions.

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 &lt;limits.h&gt; 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 kernel 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 buf-
       fer 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 loca-
       tions specified by the iov_base fields of the elements of iov, and then
       frees the buffer.  The wrapper function for writev() performs the anal-
       ogous task using a temporary buffer and a call to write(2).

BUGS
       It is not advisable to mix calls to functions like 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
       read(2), write(2)

COLOPHON
       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                             2002-10-17                          READV(2)