IOCTL(2) BSD System Calls Manual IOCTL(2)
ioctl -- control device
Standard C Library (libc, -lc)
ioctl(int d, unsigned long request, ...);
The ioctl() function manipulates the underlying device parameters of special files. In particular, many operating characteristics of charac-
ter special files (e.g. terminals) may be controlled with ioctl() requests. The argument d must be an open file descriptor.
An ioctl() request has encoded in it whether the argument is an ``in'', ``out'', or ``inout'' parameter, and the size of the first variadic
argument in bytes. Note that there can be only one variadic argument but cannot be represented as a void * argument in the prototype because
this would require a cast to pass integral types without warnings. Macros and defines used in specifying an ioctl() request are located in
the header <sys/ioctl.h>.
Some ioctls are applicable to any file descriptor. These include:
Set close-on-exec flag. The file will be closed when exec(3) is invoked (This is equivalent to fcntl() F_SETFD FD_CLOEXEC and the
fcntl() form should be preferred).
Clear close-on-exec flag. The file will remain open across exec(3) (This is equivalent to fcntl() F_SETFD 0 and the fcntl() form
should be preferred).
Some generic ioctls are not implemented for all types of file descriptors. These include:
Get the number of bytes that are immediately available for reading.
Get the number of bytes in the descriptor's send queue. These bytes are data which has been written to the descriptor but which are
being held by the kernel for further processing. The nature of the required processing depends on the underlying device. For tty
devices, these bytes are typically queued for delivery to the tty hardware. For TCP sockets, these bytes have not yet been acknowl-
edged by the other side of the connection. For files, this operation always returns zero as files do not have send queues.
Get the free space in the descriptor's send queue. This value is the size of the send queue minus the number of bytes being held in
the queue. Note: while this value represents the number of bytes that may be added to the queue, other resource limitations may
cause a write not larger than the send queue's space to be blocked. One such limitation would be a lack of network buffers for a
write to a network connection.
Set non-blocking I/O mode if the argument is non-zero. In non-blocking mode, read(2) or write(2) calls return -1 and set errno to
EAGAIN immediately when no data is available (This is equivalent to fcntl() F_SETFL O_NONBLOCK and the fcntl() form should be pre-
Set asynchronous I/O mode if the argument is non-zero (This is equivalent to fcntl() F_SETFL O_ASYNC and the fcntl() form should be
preferred). In asynchronous mode, the process or process group specified by FIOSETOWN will start receiving SIGIO signals when data
is available. The SIGIO signal will be delivered when data is available on the file descriptor.
FIOSETOWN, FIOGETOWN int
Set/get the process or the process group (if negative) that should receive SIGIO signals when data is available (This is equivalent
to fcntl() F_SETOWN pid_t and the fcntl form should be preferred).
If an error has occurred, a value of -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.
ioctl() will fail if:
[EBADF] d is not a valid descriptor.
[EFAULT] argp points outside the process's allocated address space.
[EINVAL] request or argp is not valid.
[ENOTTY] d is not associated with a character special device; or the specified request does not apply to the kind of object that
the descriptor d references.
mt(1), execve(2), fcntl(2), intro(4), tty(4)
An ioctl() function call appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.
December 19, 2010 BSD