FTRUNCATE(P) POSIX Programmer's Manual FTRUNCATE(P)
ftruncate - truncate a file to a specified length
int ftruncate(int fildes, off_t length);
If fildes is not a valid file descriptor open for writing, the ftruncate() function shall
If fildes refers to a regular file, the ftruncate() function shall cause the size of the
file to be truncated to length. If the size of the file previously exceeded length, the
extra data shall no longer be available to reads on the file. If the file previously was
smaller than this size, ftruncate() shall either increase the size of the file or fail.
XSI-conformant systems shall increase the size of the file. If the file size is
increased, the extended area shall appear as if it were zero-filled. The value of the seek
pointer shall not be modified by a call to ftruncate().
Upon successful completion, if fildes refers to a regular file, the ftruncate() function
shall mark for update the st_ctime and st_mtime fields of the file and the S_ISUID and
S_ISGID bits of the file mode may be cleared. If the ftruncate() function is unsuccessful,
the file is unaffected.
If the request would cause the file size to exceed the soft file size limit for the
process, the request shall fail and the implementation shall generate the SIGXFSZ signal
for the thread.
If fildes refers to a directory, ftruncate() shall fail.
If fildes refers to any other file type, except a shared memory object, the result is
If fildes refers to a shared memory object, ftruncate() shall set the size of the shared
memory object to length.
If the effect of ftruncate() is to decrease the size of a shared memory object or memory
mapped file and whole pages beyond the new end were previously mapped, then the whole
pages beyond the new end shall be discarded.
If the Memory Protection option is supported, references to discarded pages shall result
in the generation of a SIGBUS signal; otherwise, the result of such references is unde-
If the effect of ftruncate() is to increase the size of a shared memory object, it is
unspecified whether the contents of any mapped pages between the old end-of-file and the
new are flushed to the underlying object.
Upon successful completion, ftruncate() shall return 0; otherwise, -1 shall be returned
and errno set to indicate the error.
The ftruncate() function shall fail if:
EINTR A signal was caught during execution.
EINVAL The length argument was less than 0.
EFBIG or EINVAL
The length argument was greater than the maximum file size.
EFBIG The file is a regular file and length is greater than the offset maximum estab-
lished in the open file description associated with fildes.
EIO An I/O error occurred while reading from or writing to a file system.
EBADF or EINVAL
The fildes argument is not a file descriptor open for writing.
EINVAL The fildes argument references a file that was opened without write permission.
EROFS The named file resides on a read-only file system.
The following sections are informative.
The ftruncate() function is part of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 as it was deemed to be more use-
ful than truncate(). The truncate() function is provided as an XSI extension.
open() , truncate() , the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, <unistd.h>
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std
1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System
Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the
event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group
Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The orig-
inal Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .
IEEE/The Open Group 2003 FTRUNCATE(P)