TRUNCATE(2) Linux Programmer's Manual TRUNCATE(2)
truncate, ftruncate - truncate a file to a specified length
int truncate(const char *path, off_t length);
int ftruncate(int fd, off_t length);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
getdtablesize(): _BSD_SOURCE || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500 ||
_POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L
The truncate() and ftruncate() functions cause the regular file named
by path or referenced by fd to be truncated to a size of precisely
If the file previously was larger than this size, the extra data is
lost. If the file previously was shorter, it is extended, and the
extended part reads as null bytes ('\0').
The file offset is not changed.
If the size changed, then the st_ctime and st_mtime fields (respec-
tively, time of last status change and time of last modification; see
stat(2)) for the file are updated, and the set-user-ID and set-group-ID
permission bits may be cleared.
With ftruncate(), the file must be open for writing; with truncate(),
the file must be writable.
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is
EACCES Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix,
or the named file is not writable by the user. (See also
EFAULT Path points outside the process's allocated address space.
EFBIG The argument length is larger than the maximum file size. (XSI)
EINTR A signal was caught during execution.
EINVAL The argument length is negative or larger than the maximum file
EIO An I/O error occurred updating the inode.
EINTR While blocked waiting to complete, the call was interrupted by a
signal handler; see fcntl(2) and signal(7).
EISDIR The named file is a directory.
ELOOP Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the
A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an entire
pathname exceeded 1023 characters.
ENOENT The named file does not exist.
A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
EPERM The underlying file system does not support extending a file
beyond its current size.
EROFS The named file resides on a read-only file system.
The file is a pure procedure (shared text) file that is being
For ftruncate() the same errors apply, but instead of things that can
be wrong with path, we now have things that can be wrong with the file
EBADF fd is not a valid descriptor.
EBADF or EINVAL
fd is not open for writing.
EINVAL fd does not reference a regular file.
4.4BSD, SVr4, POSIX.1-2001 (these calls first appeared in 4.2BSD).
The above description is for XSI-compliant systems. For non-XSI-com-
pliant systems, the POSIX standard allows two behaviors for ftruncate()
when length exceeds the file length (note that truncate() is not speci-
fied at all in such an environment): either returning an error, or
extending the file. Like most Unix implementations, Linux follows the
XSI requirement when dealing with native file systems. However, some
non-native file systems do not permit truncate() and ftruncate() to be
used to extend a file beyond its current length: a notable example on
Linux is VFAT.
open(2), stat(2), 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 2008-07-04 TRUNCATE(2)