Manpage of SPLICE
SPLICESection: Linux Programmer's Manual (2)
NAMEsplice - splice data to/from a pipe
#define _GNU_SOURCE /* See feature_test_macros(7) */ #include <fcntl.h>ssize_t splice(int fd_in, loff_t *off_in, int fd_out, loff_t *off_out, size_t len, unsigned int flags);
DESCRIPTIONsplice() moves data between two file descriptors without copying between kernel address space and user address space. It transfers up to lenbytes of data from the file descriptor fd_into the file descriptor fd_out, where one of the file descriptors must refer to a pipe.
The following semantics apply for fd_inand off_in:
- If fd_inrefers to a pipe, then off_inmust be NULL.
- If fd_indoes not refer to a pipe and off_inis NULL, then bytes are read from fd_instarting from the file offset, and the file offset is adjusted appropriately.
- If fd_indoes not refer to a pipe and off_inis not NULL, then off_inmust point to a buffer which specifies the starting offset from which bytes will be read from fd_in; in this case, the file offset of fd_inis not changed.
Analogous statements apply for fd_outand off_out.
The flagsargument is a bit mask that is composed by ORing together zero or more of the following values:
- Attempt to move pages instead of copying. This is only a hint to the kernel: pages may still be copied if the kernel cannot move the pages from the pipe, or if the pipe buffers don't refer to full pages. The initial implementation of this flag was buggy: therefore starting in Linux 2.6.21 it is a no-op (but is still permitted in a splice() call); in the future, a correct implementation may be restored.
- Do not block on I/O. This makes the splice pipe operations nonblocking, but splice() may nevertheless block because the file descriptors that are spliced to/from may block (unless they have the O_NONBLOCKflag set).
- More data will be coming in a subsequent splice. This is a helpful hint when the fd_outrefers to a socket (see also the description of MSG_MOREin send(2), and the description of TCP_CORKin tcp(7)).
- Unused for splice(); see vmsplice(2).
RETURN VALUEUpon successful completion, splice() returns the number of bytes spliced to or from the pipe.
A return value of 0 means end of input. If fd_inrefers to a pipe, then this means that there was no data to transfer, and it would not make sense to block because there are no writers connected to the write end of the pipe.
- SPLICE_F_NONBLOCKwas specified in flags, and the operation would block.
- One or both file descriptors are not valid, or do not have proper read-write mode.
- The target filesystem doesn't support splicing.
- The target file is opened in append mode.
- Neither of the file descriptors refers to a pipe.
- An offset was given for nonseekable device (e.g., a pipe).
- fd_inand fd_outrefer to the same pipe.
- Out of memory.
- Either off_inor off_outwas not NULL, but the corresponding file descriptor refers to a pipe.
VERSIONSThe splice() system call first appeared in Linux 2.6.17; library support was added to glibc in version 2.5.
CONFORMING TOThis system call is Linux-specific.
NOTESThe three system calls splice(), vmsplice(2), and tee(2), provide user-space programs with full control over an arbitrary kernel buffer, implemented within the kernel using the same type of buffer that is used for a pipe. In overview, these system calls perform the following tasks:
- moves data from the buffer to an arbitrary file descriptor, or vice versa, or from one buffer to another.
- "copies" the data from one buffer to another.
- "copies" data from user space into the buffer.
Though we talk of copying, actual copies are generally avoided. The kernel does this by implementing a pipe buffer as a set of reference-counted pointers to pages of kernel memory. The kernel creates "copies" of pages in a buffer by creating new pointers (for the output buffer) referring to the pages, and increasing the reference counts for the pages: only pointers are copied, not the pages of the buffer.
SEE ALSOcopy_file_range(2), sendfile(2), tee(2), vmsplice(2), pipe(7)
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