PREAD(2) Linux Programmer's Manual PREAD(2)NAME
pread, pwrite - read from or write to a file descriptor at a given off‐
ssize_t pread(int fd, void *buf, size_t count, off_t offset);
ssize_t pwrite(int fd, const void *buf, size_t count, off_t offset);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500
|| /* Since glibc 2.12: */ _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
DESCRIPTIONpread() reads up to count bytes from file descriptor fd at offset off‐
set (from the start of the file) into the buffer starting at buf. The
file offset is not changed.
pwrite() writes up to count bytes from the buffer starting at buf to
the file descriptor fd at offset offset. The file offset is not
The file referenced by fd must be capable of seeking.
On success, the number of bytes read or written is returned (zero indi‐
cates that nothing was written, in the case of pwrite(), or end of
file, in the case of pread()), or -1 on error, in which case errno is
set to indicate the error.
ERRORSpread() can fail and set errno to any error specified for read(2) or
lseek(2). pwrite() can fail and set errno to any error specified for
write(2) or lseek(2).
The pread() and pwrite() system calls were added to Linux in version
2.1.60; the entries in the i386 system call table were added in 2.1.69.
C library support (including emulation using lseek(2) on older kernels
without the system calls) was added in glibc 2.1.
The pread() and pwrite() system calls are especially useful in multi‐
threaded applications. They allow multiple threads to perform I/O on
the same file descriptor without being affected by changes to the file
offset by other threads.
On Linux, the underlying system calls were renamed in kernel 2.6:
pread() became pread64(), and pwrite() became pwrite64(). The system
call numbers remained the same. The glibc pread() and pwrite() wrapper
functions transparently deal with the change.
On some 32-bit architectures, the calling signature for these system
calls differ, for the reasons described in syscall(2).
POSIX requires that opening a file with the O_APPEND flag should have
no affect on the location at which pwrite() writes data. However, on
Linux, if a file is opened with O_APPEND, pwrite() appends data to the
end of the file, regardless of the value of offset.
SEE ALSOlseek(2), read(2), readv(2), write(2)COLOPHON
This page is part of release 3.63 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 2013-06-21 PREAD(2)