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openat.2

OPENAT

Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (2)
Updated: 2008-08-21
Index Return to Main Contents
 

NAME

openat - open a file relative to a directory file descriptor  

SYNOPSIS

#define _ATFILE_SOURCE
#include <fcntl.h>

int openat(int dirfd, const char *pathname, int flags);
int openat(int dirfd, const char *pathname, int flags, mode_t mode);
 

DESCRIPTION

The openat() system call operates in exactly the same way as open(2), except for the differences described in this manual page.

If the pathname given in pathname is relative, then it is interpreted relative to the directory referred to by the file descriptor dirfd (rather than relative to the current working directory of the calling process, as is done by open(2) for a relative pathname).

If pathname is relative and dirfd is the special value AT_FDCWD, then pathname is interpreted relative to the current working directory of the calling process (like open(2)).

If pathname is absolute, then dirfd is ignored.  

RETURN VALUE

On success, openat() returns a new file descriptor. On error, -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.  

ERRORS

The same errors that occur for open(2) can also occur for openat(). The following additional errors can occur for openat():
EBADF
dirfd is not a valid file descriptor.
ENOTDIR
pathname is relative and dirfd is a file descriptor referring to a file other than a directory.
 

VERSIONS

openat() was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.16.  

CONFORMING TO

POSIX.1-2008. A similar system call exists on Solaris.  

NOTES

openat() and other similar system calls suffixed "at" are supported for two reasons.

First, openat() allows an application to avoid race conditions that could occur when using open(2) to open files in directories other than the current working directory. These race conditions result from the fact that some component of the directory prefix given to open(2) could be changed in parallel with the call to open(2). Such races can be avoided by opening a file descriptor for the target directory, and then specifying that file descriptor as the dirfd argument of openat().

Second, openat() allows the implementation of a per-thread "current working directory", via file descriptor(s) maintained by the application. (This functionality can also be obtained by tricks based on the use of /proc/self/fd/dirfd, but less efficiently.)  

SEE ALSO

faccessat(2), fchmodat(2), fchownat(2), fstatat(2), futimesat(2), linkat(2), mkdirat(2), mknodat(2), open(2), readlinkat(2), renameat(2), symlinkat(2), unlinkat(2), utimensat(2), mkfifoat(3), path_resolution(7)  

COLOPHON

This page is part of release 3.21 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/.


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
RETURN VALUE
ERRORS
VERSIONS
CONFORMING TO
NOTES
SEE ALSO
COLOPHON

 

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