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OpenDarwin 7.2.1 - man page for select (opendarwin section 2)

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SELECT(2)			     BSD System Calls Manual				SELECT(2)

NAME
     select -- synchronous I/O multiplexing

SYNOPSIS
     #include <sys/select.h>
	   - or -
     #include <sys/types.h>
     #include <sys/time.h>
     #include <unistd.h>

     int
     select(int nfds, fd_set *readfds, fd_set *writefds, fd_set *exceptfds,
	 struct timeval *timeout);

     FD_SET(fd, &fdset);

     FD_CLR(fd, &fdset);

     FD_ISSET(fd, &fdset);

     FD_ZERO(&fdset);

DESCRIPTION
     Select() examines the I/O descriptor sets whose addresses are passed in readfds, writefds,
     and exceptfds to see if some of their descriptors are ready for reading, are ready for writ-
     ing, or have an exceptional condition pending, respectively.  The first nfds descriptors are
     checked in each set; i.e., the descriptors from 0 through nfds-1 in the descriptor sets are
     examined.	On return, select() replaces the given descriptor sets with subsets consisting of
     those descriptors that are ready for the requested operation.  Select() returns the total
     number of ready descriptors in all the sets.

     The descriptor sets are stored as bit fields in arrays of integers.  The following macros
     are provided for manipulating such descriptor sets: FD_ZERO(&fdset) initializes a descriptor
     set fdset to the null set.  FD_SET(fd, &fdset) includes a particular descriptor fd in fdset.
     FD_CLR(fd, &fdset) removes fd from fdset.	FD_ISSET(fd, &fdset) is non-zero if fd is a mem-
     ber of fdset, zero otherwise.  The behavior of these macros is undefined if a descriptor
     value is less than zero or greater than or equal to FD_SETSIZE, which is normally at least
     equal to the maximum number of descriptors supported by the system.

     If timeout is a non-nil pointer, it specifies a maximum interval to wait for the selection
     to complete.  If timeout is a nil pointer, the select blocks indefinitely.  To effect a
     poll, the timeout argument should be non-nil, pointing to a zero-valued timeval structure.
     Timeout is not changed by select(), and may be reused on subsequent calls, however it is
     good style to re-initialize it before each invocation of select().

     Any of readfds, writefds, and exceptfds may be given as nil pointers if no descriptors are
     of interest.

RETURN VALUES
     Select() returns the number of ready descriptors that are contained in the descriptor sets,
     or -1 if an error occurred.  If the time limit expires, select() returns 0.  If select()
     returns with an error, including one due to an interrupted call, the descriptor sets will be
     unmodified.

ERRORS
     An error return from select() indicates:

     [EBADF]		One of the descriptor sets specified an invalid descriptor.

     [EINTR]		A signal was delivered before the time limit expired and before any of
			the selected events occurred.

     [EINVAL]		The specified time limit is invalid.  One of its components is negative
			or too large.

SEE ALSO
     accept(2), connect(2), getdtablesize(2), gettimeofday(2), read(2), recv(2), send(2),
     write(2)

BUGS
     Although the provision of getdtablesize(2) was intended to allow user programs to be written
     independent of the kernel limit on the number of open files, the dimension of a sufficiently
     large bit field for select remains a problem.  The default size FD_SETSIZE (currently 1024)
     is somewhat smaller than the current kernel limit to the number of open files.  However, in
     order to accommodate programs which might potentially use a larger number of open files with
     select, it is possible to increase this size within a program by providing a larger defini-
     tion of FD_SETSIZE before the inclusion of <sys/types.h>.

     Select() should probably have been designed to return the time remaining from the original
     timeout, if any, by modifying the time value in place.  However, it is unlikely this seman-
     tic will ever be implemented, as the change would cause source code compatibility problems.
     In general it is unwise to assume that the timeout value will be unmodified by the select()
     call, and the caller should reinitialize it on each invocation.

HISTORY
     The select() function call appeared in 4.2BSD.

4.2 Berkeley Distribution		  March 25, 1994		4.2 Berkeley Distribution
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