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IOCTL

Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (2)
Updated: 2015-02-21
Index Return to Main Contents
 

NAME

ioctl - control device  

SYNOPSIS

#include <sys/ioctl.h>

int ioctl(int fd, unsigned long request, ...);  

DESCRIPTION

The ioctl() function manipulates the underlying device parameters of special files. In particular, many operating characteristics of character special files (e.g., terminals) may be controlled with ioctl() requests. The argument fd must be an open file descriptor.

The second argument is a device-dependent request code. The third argument is an untyped pointer to memory. It's traditionally char *argp (from the days before void * was valid C), and will be so named for this discussion.

An ioctl() request has encoded in it whether the argument is an in parameter or out parameter, and the size of the argument argp in bytes. Macros and defines used in specifying an ioctl() request are located in the file <sys/ioctl.h>.  

RETURN VALUE

Usually, on success zero is returned. A few ioctl() requests use the return value as an output parameter and return a nonnegative value on success. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.  

ERRORS

EBADF
fd is not a valid descriptor.
EFAULT
argp references an inaccessible memory area.
EINVAL
request or argp is not valid.
ENOTTY
fd is not associated with a character special device.
ENOTTY
The specified request does not apply to the kind of object that the descriptor fd references.
 

CONFORMING TO

No single standard. Arguments, returns, and semantics of ioctl() vary according to the device driver in question (the call is used as a catch-all for operations that don't cleanly fit the UNIX stream I/O model). See ioctl_list(2) for a list of many of the known ioctl() calls. The ioctl() function call appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.  

NOTES

In order to use this call, one needs an open file descriptor. Often the open(2) call has unwanted side effects, that can be avoided under Linux by giving it the O_NONBLOCK flag.  

SEE ALSO

execve(2), fcntl(2), ioctl_fat(2), ioctl_list(2), open(2), sd(4), tty(4)  

COLOPHON

This page is part of release 3.81 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
RETURN VALUE
ERRORS
CONFORMING TO
NOTES
SEE ALSO
COLOPHON


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