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13.10.1 Asynchronous Read and Write Operations

— Function: int aio_read (struct aiocb *aiocbp)

Preliminary: | MT-Safe | AS-Unsafe lock heap | AC-Unsafe lock mem | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

This function initiates an asynchronous read operation. It immediately returns after the operation was enqueued or when an error was encountered.

The first aiocbp->aio_nbytes bytes of the file for which aiocbp->aio_fildes is a descriptor are written to the buffer starting at aiocbp->aio_buf. Reading starts at the absolute position aiocbp->aio_offset in the file.

If prioritized I/O is supported by the platform the aiocbp->aio_reqprio value is used to adjust the priority before the request is actually enqueued.

The calling process is notified about the termination of the read request according to the aiocbp->aio_sigevent value.

When aio_read returns, the return value is zero if no error occurred that can be found before the process is enqueued. If such an early error is found, the function returns -1 and sets errno to one of the following values:

EAGAIN
The request was not enqueued due to (temporarily) exceeded resource limitations.
ENOSYS
The aio_read function is not implemented.
EBADF
The aiocbp->aio_fildes descriptor is not valid. This condition need not be recognized before enqueueing the request and so this error might also be signaled asynchronously.
EINVAL
The aiocbp->aio_offset or aiocbp->aio_reqpiro value is invalid. This condition need not be recognized before enqueueing the request and so this error might also be signaled asynchronously.

If aio_read returns zero, the current status of the request can be queried using aio_error and aio_return functions. As long as the value returned by aio_error is EINPROGRESS the operation has not yet completed. If aio_error returns zero, the operation successfully terminated, otherwise the value is to be interpreted as an error code. If the function terminated, the result of the operation can be obtained using a call to aio_return. The returned value is the same as an equivalent call to read would have returned. Possible error codes returned by aio_error are:

EBADF
The aiocbp->aio_fildes descriptor is not valid.
ECANCELED
The operation was canceled before the operation was finished (see Cancel AIO Operations)
EINVAL
The aiocbp->aio_offset value is invalid.

When the sources are compiled with _FILE_OFFSET_BITS == 64 this function is in fact aio_read64 since the LFS interface transparently replaces the normal implementation.

— Function: int aio_read64 (struct aiocb64 *aiocbp)

Preliminary: | MT-Safe | AS-Unsafe lock heap | AC-Unsafe lock mem | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

This function is similar to the aio_read function. The only difference is that on 32 bit machines, the file descriptor should be opened in the large file mode. Internally, aio_read64 uses functionality equivalent to lseek64 (see File Position Primitive) to position the file descriptor correctly for the reading, as opposed to lseek functionality used in aio_read.

When the sources are compiled with _FILE_OFFSET_BITS == 64, this function is available under the name aio_read and so transparently replaces the interface for small files on 32 bit machines.

To write data asynchronously to a file, there exists an equivalent pair of functions with a very similar interface.

— Function: int aio_write (struct aiocb *aiocbp)

Preliminary: | MT-Safe | AS-Unsafe lock heap | AC-Unsafe lock mem | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

This function initiates an asynchronous write operation. The function call immediately returns after the operation was enqueued or if before this happens an error was encountered.

The first aiocbp->aio_nbytes bytes from the buffer starting at aiocbp->aio_buf are written to the file for which aiocbp->aio_fildes is a descriptor, starting at the absolute position aiocbp->aio_offset in the file.

If prioritized I/O is supported by the platform, the aiocbp->aio_reqprio value is used to adjust the priority before the request is actually enqueued.

The calling process is notified about the termination of the read request according to the aiocbp->aio_sigevent value.

When aio_write returns, the return value is zero if no error occurred that can be found before the process is enqueued. If such an early error is found the function returns -1 and sets errno to one of the following values.

EAGAIN
The request was not enqueued due to (temporarily) exceeded resource limitations.
ENOSYS
The aio_write function is not implemented.
EBADF
The aiocbp->aio_fildes descriptor is not valid. This condition may not be recognized before enqueueing the request, and so this error might also be signaled asynchronously.
EINVAL
The aiocbp->aio_offset or aiocbp->aio_reqprio value is invalid. This condition may not be recognized before enqueueing the request and so this error might also be signaled asynchronously.

In the case aio_write returns zero, the current status of the request can be queried using aio_error and aio_return functions. As long as the value returned by aio_error is EINPROGRESS the operation has not yet completed. If aio_error returns zero, the operation successfully terminated, otherwise the value is to be interpreted as an error code. If the function terminated, the result of the operation can be get using a call to aio_return. The returned value is the same as an equivalent call to read would have returned. Possible error codes returned by aio_error are:

EBADF
The aiocbp->aio_fildes descriptor is not valid.
ECANCELED
The operation was canceled before the operation was finished. (see Cancel AIO Operations)
EINVAL
The aiocbp->aio_offset value is invalid.

When the sources are compiled with _FILE_OFFSET_BITS == 64, this function is in fact aio_write64 since the LFS interface transparently replaces the normal implementation.

— Function: int aio_write64 (struct aiocb64 *aiocbp)

Preliminary: | MT-Safe | AS-Unsafe lock heap | AC-Unsafe lock mem | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

This function is similar to the aio_write function. The only difference is that on 32 bit machines the file descriptor should be opened in the large file mode. Internally aio_write64 uses functionality equivalent to lseek64 (see File Position Primitive) to position the file descriptor correctly for the writing, as opposed to lseek functionality used in aio_write.

When the sources are compiled with _FILE_OFFSET_BITS == 64, this function is available under the name aio_write and so transparently replaces the interface for small files on 32 bit machines.

Besides these functions with the more or less traditional interface, POSIX.1b also defines a function which can initiate more than one operation at a time, and which can handle freely mixed read and write operations. It is therefore similar to a combination of readv and writev.

— Function: int lio_listio (int mode, struct aiocb *const list[], int nent, struct sigevent *sig)

Preliminary: | MT-Safe | AS-Unsafe lock heap | AC-Unsafe lock mem | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

The lio_listio function can be used to enqueue an arbitrary number of read and write requests at one time. The requests can all be meant for the same file, all for different files or every solution in between.

lio_listio gets the nent requests from the array pointed to by list. The operation to be performed is determined by the aio_lio_opcode member in each element of list. If this field is LIO_READ a read operation is enqueued, similar to a call of aio_read for this element of the array (except that the way the termination is signalled is different, as we will see below). If the aio_lio_opcode member is LIO_WRITE a write operation is enqueued. Otherwise the aio_lio_opcode must be LIO_NOP in which case this element of list is simply ignored. This “operation” is useful in situations where one has a fixed array of struct aiocb elements from which only a few need to be handled at a time. Another situation is where the lio_listio call was canceled before all requests are processed (see Cancel AIO Operations) and the remaining requests have to be reissued.

The other members of each element of the array pointed to by list must have values suitable for the operation as described in the documentation for aio_read and aio_write above.

The mode argument determines how lio_listio behaves after having enqueued all the requests. If mode is LIO_WAIT it waits until all requests terminated. Otherwise mode must be LIO_NOWAIT and in this case the function returns immediately after having enqueued all the requests. In this case the caller gets a notification of the termination of all requests according to the sig parameter. If sig is NULL no notification is send. Otherwise a signal is sent or a thread is started, just as described in the description for aio_read or aio_write.

If mode is LIO_WAIT, the return value of lio_listio is 0 when all requests completed successfully. Otherwise the function return -1 and errno is set accordingly. To find out which request or requests failed one has to use the aio_error function on all the elements of the array list.

In case mode is LIO_NOWAIT, the function returns 0 if all requests were enqueued correctly. The current state of the requests can be found using aio_error and aio_return as described above. If lio_listio returns -1 in this mode, the global variable errno is set accordingly. If a request did not yet terminate, a call to aio_error returns EINPROGRESS. If the value is different, the request is finished and the error value (or 0) is returned and the result of the operation can be retrieved using aio_return.

Possible values for errno are:

EAGAIN
The resources necessary to queue all the requests are not available at the moment. The error status for each element of list must be checked to determine which request failed.

Another reason could be that the system wide limit of AIO requests is exceeded. This cannot be the case for the implementation on GNU systems since no arbitrary limits exist.

EINVAL
The mode parameter is invalid or nent is larger than AIO_LISTIO_MAX.
EIO
One or more of the request's I/O operations failed. The error status of each request should be checked to determine which one failed.
ENOSYS
The lio_listio function is not supported.

If the mode parameter is LIO_NOWAIT and the caller cancels a request, the error status for this request returned by aio_error is ECANCELED.

When the sources are compiled with _FILE_OFFSET_BITS == 64, this function is in fact lio_listio64 since the LFS interface transparently replaces the normal implementation.

— Function: int lio_listio64 (int mode, struct aiocb64 *const list[], int nent, struct sigevent *sig)

Preliminary: | MT-Safe | AS-Unsafe lock heap | AC-Unsafe lock mem | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

This function is similar to the lio_listio function. The only difference is that on 32 bit machines, the file descriptor should be opened in the large file mode. Internally, lio_listio64 uses functionality equivalent to lseek64 (see File Position Primitive) to position the file descriptor correctly for the reading or writing, as opposed to lseek functionality used in lio_listio.

When the sources are compiled with _FILE_OFFSET_BITS == 64, this function is available under the name lio_listio and so transparently replaces the interface for small files on 32 bit machines.