Linux and UNIX Man Pages

Linux & Unix Commands - Search Man Pages

RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for fsync (redhat section 2)

FSYNC(2)						     Linux Programmer's Manual							  FSYNC(2)

fsync, fdatasync - synchronize a file's complete in-core state with that on disk
#include <unistd.h> int fsync(int fd); int fdatasync(int fd);
fsync copies all in-core parts of a file to disk, and waits until the device reports that all parts are on stable storage. It also updates metadata stat information. It does not necessarily ensure that the entry in the directory containing the file has also reached disk. For that an explicit fsync on the file descriptor of the directory is also needed. fdatasync does the same as fsync but only flushes user data, not the meta data like the mtime or atime.
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.
EBADF fd is not a valid file descriptor open for writing. EROFS, EINVAL fd is bound to a special file which does not support synchronization. EIO An error occurred during synchronization.
In case the hard disk has write cache enabled, the data may not really be on permanent storage when fsync/fdatasync return. When an ext2 file system is mounted with the sync option, directory entries are also implicitly synced by fsync. On kernels before 2.4, fsync on big files can be inefficient. An alternative might be to use the O_SYNC flag to open(2).
POSIX.1b (formerly POSIX.4)
bdflush(2), open(2), sync(2), mount(8), update(8), sync(8) Linux 1.3.85 2001-04-18 FSYNC(2)