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Linux 2.6 - man page for aio (linux section 7)

AIO(7)				    Linux Programmer's Manual				   AIO(7)

       aio - POSIX asynchronous I/O overview

       The POSIX asynchronous I/O (AIO) interface allows applications to initiate one or more I/O
       operations that are performed asynchronously (i.e., in the background).	 The  application
       can  elect  to  be  notified  of  completion of the I/O operation in a variety of ways: by
       delivery of a signal, by instantiation of a thread, or no notification at all.

       The POSIX AIO interface consists of the following functions:

       aio_read(3)     Enqueue a read request.	This is the asynchronous analog of read(2).

       aio_write(3)    Enqueue a write request.  This is the asynchronous analog of write(2).

       aio_fsync(3)    Enqueue a sync request for the I/O operations on a file descriptor.   This
		       is the asynchronous analog of fsync(2) and fdatasync(2).

       aio_error(3)    Obtain the error status of an enqueued I/O request.

       aio_return(3)   Obtain the return status of a completed I/O request.

       aio_suspend(3)  Suspend	the  caller  until one or more of a specified set of I/O requests

       aio_cancel(3)   Attempt to cancel outstanding I/O requests on a specified file descriptor.

       lio_listio(3)   Enqueue multiple I/O requests using a single function call.

       The aiocb ("asynchronous I/O control block") structure defines parameters that control  an
       I/O  operation.	 An  argument  of  this type is employed with all of the functions listed
       above.  This structure has the following form:

	   #include <aiocb.h>

	   struct aiocb {
	       /* The order of these fields is implementation-dependent */

	       int	       aio_fildes;     /* File descriptor */
	       off_t	       aio_offset;     /* File offset */
	       volatile void  *aio_buf;        /* Location of buffer */
	       size_t	       aio_nbytes;     /* Length of transfer */
	       int	       aio_reqprio;    /* Request priority */
	       struct sigevent aio_sigevent;   /* Notification method */
	       int	       aio_lio_opcode; /* Operation to be performed;
						  lio_listio() only */

	       /* Various implementation-internal fields not shown */

	   /* Operation codes for 'aio_lio_opcode': */

	   enum { LIO_READ, LIO_WRITE, LIO_NOP };

       The fields of this structure are as follows:

       aio_filedes     The file descriptor on which the I/O operation is to be performed.

       aio_offset      This is the file offset at which the I/O operation is to be performed.

       aio_buf	       This is the buffer used to transfer data for a read or write operation.

       aio_nbytes      This is the size of the buffer pointed to by aio_buf.

       aio_reqprio     This field specifies a value that is subtracted from the calling  thread's
		       real-time  priority  in	order  to determine the priority for execution of
		       this I/O request (see pthread_setschedparam(3)).  The specified value must
		       be  between  0  and the value returned by sysconf(_SC_AIO_PRIO_DELTA_MAX).
		       This field is ignored for file synchronization operations.

       aio_sigevent    This field is a structure that specifies how the caller is to be  notified
		       when  the  asynchronous	I/O  operation	completes.   Possible  values for
		       aio_sigevent.sigev_notify are SIGEV_NONE, SIGEV_SIGNAL, and  SIGEV_THREAD.
		       See sigevent(7) for further details.

       aio_lio_opcode  The type of operation to be performed; used only for lio_listio(3).

       In addition to the standard functions listed above, the GNU C library provides the follow-
       ing extension to the POSIX AIO API:

       aio_init(3)     Set parameters for tuning the behavior of the glibc POSIX AIO  implementa-

       EINVAL The  aio_reqprio	field of the aiocb structure was less than 0, or was greater than
	      the limit returned by the call sysconf(_SC_AIO_PRIO_DELTA_MAX).

       The POSIX AIO interfaces are provided by glibc since version 2.1.

       POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.

       It is a good idea to zero out the control block buffer before use  (see	memset(3)).   The
       control	block  buffer  and the buffer pointed to by aio_buf must not be changed while the
       I/O operation is in progress.  These buffers must remain valid  until  the  I/O	operation

       Simultaneous  asynchronous  read  or write operations using the same aiocb structure yield
       undefined results.

       The current Linux POSIX AIO implementation is provided in user space by glibc.  This has a
       number of limitations, most notably that maintaining multiple threads to perform I/O oper-
       ations is expensive and scales poorly.  Work has been in progress for some time on a  ker-
       nel state-machine-based implementation of asynchronous I/O (see io_submit(2), io_setup(2),
       io_cancel(2), io_destroy(2), io_getevents(2)), but this implementation hasn't yet  matured
       to  the point where the POSIX AIO implementation can be completely reimplemented using the
       kernel system calls.

       The program below opens each of the files named in its command-line arguments and queues a
       request on the resulting file descriptor using aio_read(3).  The program then loops, peri-
       odically  monitoring  each  of  the  I/O  operations  that  is  still  in  progress  using
       aio_error(3).  Each of the I/O requests is set up to provide notification by delivery of a
       signal.	After all I/O requests have completed, the program retrieves their  status  using

       The SIGQUIT signal (generated by typing control-\) causes the program to request cancella-
       tion of each of the outstanding requests using aio_cancel(3).

       Here is an example of what we might see when running this program.  In this  example,  the
       program	queues	two  requests  to standard input, and these are satisfied by two lines of
       input containing "abc" and "x".

	   $ ./a.out /dev/stdin /dev/stdin
	   opened /dev/stdin on descriptor 3
	   opened /dev/stdin on descriptor 4
	       for request 0 (descriptor 3): In progress
	       for request 1 (descriptor 4): In progress
	   I/O completion signal received
	       for request 0 (descriptor 3): I/O succeeded
	       for request 1 (descriptor 4): In progress
	       for request 1 (descriptor 4): In progress
	   I/O completion signal received
	       for request 1 (descriptor 4): I/O succeeded
	   All I/O requests completed
	       for request 0 (descriptor 3): 4
	       for request 1 (descriptor 4): 2

   Program source

       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <errno.h>
       #include <aio.h>
       #include <signal.h>

       #define BUF_SIZE 20     /* Size of buffers for read operations */

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

       #define errMsg(msg)  do { perror(msg); } while (0)

       struct ioRequest {      /* Application-defined structure for tracking
				  I/O requests */
	   int		 reqNum;
	   int		 status;
	   struct aiocb *aiocbp;

       static volatile sig_atomic_t gotSIGQUIT = 0;
			       /* On delivery of SIGQUIT, we attempt to
				  cancel all outstanding I/O requests */

       static void	       /* Handler for SIGQUIT */
       quitHandler(int sig)
	   gotSIGQUIT = 1;

       #define IO_SIGNAL SIGUSR1   /* Signal used to notify I/O completion */

       static void		   /* Handler for I/O completion signal */
       aioSigHandler(int sig, siginfo_t *si, void *ucontext)
	   write(STDOUT_FILENO, "I/O completion signal received\n", 31);

	   /* The corresponding ioRequest structure would be available as
		  struct ioRequest *ioReq = si->si_value.sival_ptr;
	      and the file descriptor would then be available via
		  ioReq->aiocbp->aio_fildes */

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
	   struct ioRequest *ioList;
	   struct aiocb *aiocbList;
	   struct sigaction sa;
	   int s, j;
	   int numReqs;        /* Total number of queued I/O requests */
	   int openReqs;       /* Number of I/O requests still in progress */

	   if (argc < 2) {
	       fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <pathname> <pathname>...\n",

	   numReqs = argc - 1;

	   /* Allocate our arrays */

	   ioList = calloc(numReqs, sizeof(struct ioRequest));
	   if (ioList == NULL)

	   aiocbList = calloc(numReqs, sizeof(struct aiocb));
	   if (aiocbList == NULL)

	   /* Establish handlers for SIGQUIT and the I/O completion signal */

	   sa.sa_flags = SA_RESTART;

	   sa.sa_handler = quitHandler;
	   if (sigaction(SIGQUIT, &sa, NULL) == -1)

	   sa.sa_flags = SA_RESTART | SA_SIGINFO;
	   sa.sa_sigaction = aioSigHandler;
	   if (sigaction(IO_SIGNAL, &sa, NULL) == -1)

	   /* Open each file specified on the command line, and queue
	      a read request on the resulting file descriptor */

	   for (j = 0; j < numReqs; j++) {
	       ioList[j].reqNum = j;
	       ioList[j].status = EINPROGRESS;
	       ioList[j].aiocbp = &aiocbList[j];

	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_fildes = open(argv[j + 1], O_RDONLY);
	       if (ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_fildes == -1)
	       printf("opened %s on descriptor %d\n", argv[j + 1],

	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_buf = malloc(BUF_SIZE);
	       if (ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_buf == NULL)

	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_nbytes = BUF_SIZE;
	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_reqprio = 0;
	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_offset = 0;
	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_sigevent.sigev_notify = SIGEV_SIGNAL;
	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_sigevent.sigev_signo = IO_SIGNAL;
	       ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_sigevent.sigev_value.sival_ptr =

	       s = aio_read(ioList[j].aiocbp);
	       if (s == -1)

	   openReqs = numReqs;

	   /* Loop, monitoring status of I/O requests */

	   while (openReqs > 0) {
	       sleep(3);       /* Delay between each monitoring step */

	       if (gotSIGQUIT) {

		   /* On receipt of SIGQUIT, attempt to cancel each of the
		      outstanding I/O requests, and display status returned
		      from the cancellation requests */

		   printf("got SIGQUIT; canceling I/O requests: \n");

		   for (j = 0; j < numReqs; j++) {
		       if (ioList[j].status == EINPROGRESS) {
			   printf("    Request %d on descriptor %d:", j,
			   s = aio_cancel(ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_fildes,
			   if (s == AIO_CANCELED)
			       printf("I/O canceled\n");
			   else if (s == AIO_NOTCANCELED)
				   printf("I/O not canceled\n");
			   else if (s == AIO_ALLDONE)
			       printf("I/O all done\n");

		   gotSIGQUIT = 0;

	       /* Check the status of each I/O request that is still
		  in progress */

	       for (j = 0; j < numReqs; j++) {
		   if (ioList[j].status == EINPROGRESS) {
		       printf("    for request %d (descriptor %d): ",
			       j, ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_fildes);
		       ioList[j].status = aio_error(ioList[j].aiocbp);

		       switch (ioList[j].status) {
		       case 0:
			   printf("I/O succeeded\n");
		       case EINPROGRESS:
			   printf("In progress\n");
		       case ECANCELED:

		       if (ioList[j].status != EINPROGRESS)

	   printf("All I/O requests completed\n");

	   /* Check status return of all I/O requests */

	   for (j = 0; j < numReqs; j++) {
	       ssize_t s;

	       s = aio_return(ioList[j].aiocbp);
	       printf("    for request %d (descriptor %d): %ld\n",
		       j, ioList[j].aiocbp->aio_fildes, (long) s);


       io_cancel(2), io_destroy(2), io_getevents(2), io_setup(2), io_submit(2), aio_cancel(3),
       aio_error(3), aio_init(3), aio_read(3), aio_return(3), aio_write(3), lio_listio(3)


       This page is part of release 3.55 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at

Linux					    2012-08-05					   AIO(7)

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