getdents64 man page on ElementaryOS

Man page or keyword search:  
man Server   4994 pages
apropos Keyword Search (all sections)
Output format
ElementaryOS logo
[printable version]

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

       getdents - get directory entries

       int getdents(unsigned int fd, struct linux_dirent *dirp,
		    unsigned int count);

       Note: There is no glibc wrapper for this system call; see NOTES.

       This is not the function you are interested in.	Look at readdir(3) for
       the POSIX conforming C library interface.  This page documents the bare
       kernel system call interface.

       The  system  call getdents() reads several linux_dirent structures from
       the directory referred to by the open file descriptor fd into the  buf‐
       fer  pointed to by dirp.	 The argument count specifies the size of that

       The linux_dirent structure is declared as follows:

	   struct linux_dirent {
	       unsigned long  d_ino;	 /* Inode number */
	       unsigned long  d_off;	 /* Offset to next linux_dirent */
	       unsigned short d_reclen;	 /* Length of this linux_dirent */
	       char	      d_name[];	 /* Filename (null-terminated) */
				 /* length is actually (d_reclen - 2 -
				    offsetof(struct linux_dirent, d_name)) */
	       char	      pad;	 // Zero padding byte
	       char	      d_type;	 // File type (only since Linux
					 // 2.6.4); offset is (d_reclen - 1)


       d_ino is an inode number.  d_off is the distance from the start of  the
       directory  to the start of the next linux_dirent.  d_reclen is the size
       of this entire linux_dirent.  d_name is a null-terminated filename.

       d_type is a byte at the end of the structure that  indicates  the  file
       type.  It contains one of the following values (defined in <dirent.h>):

       DT_BLK	   This is a block device.

       DT_CHR	   This is a character device.

       DT_DIR	   This is a directory.

       DT_FIFO	   This is a named pipe (FIFO).

       DT_LNK	   This is a symbolic link.

       DT_REG	   This is a regular file.

       DT_SOCK	   This is a UNIX domain socket.

       DT_UNKNOWN  The file type is unknown.

       The d_type field is implemented since Linux 2.6.4.  It occupies a space
       that was previously a zero-filled  padding  byte	 in  the  linux_dirent
       structure.   Thus,  on  kernels before 2.6.3, attempting to access this
       field always provides the value 0 (DT_UNKNOWN).

       Currently, only some filesystems (among them: Btrfs,  ext2,  ext3,  and
       ext4)  have  full  support  for returning the file type in d_type.  All
       applications must properly handle a return of DT_UNKNOWN.

       On success, the number of bytes read is returned.  On end of directory,
       0  is  returned.	  On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropri‐

       EBADF  Invalid file descriptor fd.

       EFAULT Argument points outside the calling process's address space.

       EINVAL Result buffer is too small.

       ENOENT No such directory.

	      File descriptor does not refer to a directory.


       Glibc does not provide a wrapper for this system call;  call  it	 using
       syscall(2).   You  will need to define the linux_dirent structure your‐
       self.  However, you probably want to use readdir(3) instead.

       This call supersedes readdir(2).

       The original Linux getdents() system call did not handle large filesys‐
       tems  and  large	 file  offsets.	  Consequently,	 Linux	2.4 added get‐
       dents64(), with wider types for the d_ino and d_off fields employed  in
       the linux_dirent structure.

       The  program  below  demonstrates the use of getdents().	 The following
       output shows an example of what we see when running this program on  an
       ext2 directory:

	   $ ./a.out /testfs/
	   --------------- nread=120 ---------------
	   i-node#  file type  d_reclen	 d_off	 d_name
		  2  directory	  16	     12	 .
		  2  directory	  16	     24	 ..
		 11  directory	  24	     44	 lost+found
		 12  regular	  16	     56	 a
	     228929  directory	  16	     68	 sub
	      16353  directory	  16	     80	 sub2
	     130817  directory	  16	   4096	 sub3

   Program source

       #define _GNU_SOURCE
       #include <dirent.h>     /* Defines DT_* constants */
       #include <fcntl.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <sys/stat.h>
       #include <sys/syscall.h>

       #define handle_error(msg) \
	       do { perror(msg); exit(EXIT_FAILURE); } while (0)

       struct linux_dirent {
	   long		  d_ino;
	   off_t	  d_off;
	   unsigned short d_reclen;
	   char		  d_name[];

       #define BUF_SIZE 1024

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
	   int fd, nread;
	   char buf[BUF_SIZE];
	   struct linux_dirent *d;
	   int bpos;
	   char d_type;

	   fd = open(argc > 1 ? argv[1] : ".", O_RDONLY | O_DIRECTORY);
	   if (fd == -1)

	   for ( ; ; ) {
	       nread = syscall(SYS_getdents, fd, buf, BUF_SIZE);
	       if (nread == -1)

	       if (nread == 0)

	       printf("--------------- nread=%d ---------------\n", nread);
	       printf("i-node#	file type  d_reclen  d_off   d_name\n");
	       for (bpos = 0; bpos < nread;) {
		   d = (struct linux_dirent *) (buf + bpos);
		   printf("%8ld	 ", d->d_ino);
		   d_type = *(buf + bpos + d->d_reclen - 1);
		   printf("%-10s ", (d_type == DT_REG) ?  "regular" :
				    (d_type == DT_DIR) ?  "directory" :
				    (d_type == DT_FIFO) ? "FIFO" :
				    (d_type == DT_SOCK) ? "socket" :
				    (d_type == DT_LNK) ?  "symlink" :
				    (d_type == DT_BLK) ?  "block dev" :
				    (d_type == DT_CHR) ?  "char dev" : "???");
		   printf("%4d %10lld  %s\n", d->d_reclen,
			   (long long) d->d_off, d->d_name);
		   bpos += d->d_reclen;


       readdir(2), readdir(3)

       This  page  is  part of release 3.54 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting  bugs,  can
       be found at

Linux				  2012-08-03			   GETDENTS(2)

List of man pages available for ElementaryOS

Copyright (c) for man pages and the logo by the respective OS vendor.

For those who want to learn more, the polarhome community provides shell access and support.

[legal] [privacy] [GNU] [policy] [cookies] [netiquette] [sponsors] [FAQ]
Polarhome, production since 1999.
Member of Polarhome portal.
Based on Fawad Halim's script.
Vote for polarhome
Free Shell Accounts :: the biggest list on the net