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INTRO(2)                    BSD System Calls Manual                   INTRO(2)

     intro -- introduction to system calls and error numbers

     #include <sys/errno.h>

     This section provides an overview of the system calls, their error returns, and other common defini-tions definitions
     tions and concepts.

     Nearly all of the system calls provide an error number in the external variable errno, which is defined

           extern int errno

     When a system call detects an error, it returns an integer value indicating failure (usually -1) and
     sets the variable errno accordingly.  <This allows interpretation of the failure on receiving a -1 and
     to take action accordingly.> Successful calls never set errno; once set, it remains until another error
     occurs.  It should only be examined after an error.  Note that a number of system calls overload the
     meanings of these error numbers, and that the meanings must be interpreted according to the type and
     circumstances of the call.

     The following is a complete list of the errors and their names as given in <sys/errno.h>.

     0 Error 0.  Not used.

     1 EPERM Operation not permitted.  An attempt was made to perform an operation limited to processes with
             appropriate privileges or to the owner of a file or other resources.

     2 ENOENT No such file or directory.  A component of a specified pathname did not exist, or the pathname
             was an empty string.

     3 ESRCH No such process.  No process could be found corresponding to that specified by the given
             process ID.

     4 EINTR Interrupted function call.  An asynchronous signal (such as SIGINT or SIGQUIT) was caught by
             the process during the execution of an interruptible function. If the signal handler performs a
             normal return, the interrupted function call will seem to have returned the error condition.

     5 EIO Input/output error.  Some physical input or output error occurred.  This error will not be
             reported until a subsequent operation on the same file descriptor and may be lost (over writ-ten) written)
             ten) by any subsequent errors.

     6 ENXIO No such device or address.  Input or output on a special file referred to a device that did not
             exist, or made a request beyond the limits of the device.  This error may also occur when, for
             example, a tape drive is not online or no disk pack is loaded on a drive.

     7 E2BIG Arg list too long.  The number of bytes used for the argument and environment list of the new
             process exceeded the limit NCARGS (specified in <sys/param.h>).

     8 ENOEXEC Exec format error.  A request was made to execute a file that, although it has the appropri-ate appropriate
             ate permissions, was not in the format required for an executable file.

     9 EBADF Bad file descriptor.  A file descriptor argument was out of range, referred to no open file, or
             a read (write) request was made to a file that was only open for writing (reading).

     10 ECHILD No child processes.  A wait or waitpid function was executed by a process that had no exist-ing existing
             ing or unwaited-for child processes.

     11 EDEADLK Resource deadlock avoided.  An attempt was made to lock a system resource that would have
             resulted in a deadlock situation.

     12 ENOMEM Cannot allocate memory.  The new process image required more memory than was allowed by the
             hardware or by system-imposed memory management constraints.  A lack of swap space is normally
             temporary; however, a lack of core is not.  Soft limits may be increased to their corresponding
             hard limits.

     13 EACCES Permission denied.  An attempt was made to access a file in a way forbidden by its file
             access permissions.

     14 EFAULT Bad address.  The system detected an invalid address in attempting to use an argument of a

     15 ENOTBLK Not a block device.  A block device operation was attempted on a non-block device or file.

     16 EBUSY Resource busy.  An attempt to use a system resource which was in use at the time in a manner
             which would have conflicted with the request.

     17 EEXIST File exists.  An existing file was mentioned in an inappropriate context, for instance, as
             the new link name in a link function.

     18 EXDEV Improper link.  A hard link to a file on another file system was attempted.

     19 ENODEV Operation not supported by device.  An attempt was made to apply an inappropriate function to
             a device, for example, trying to read a write-only device such as a printer.

     20 ENOTDIR Not a directory.  A component of the specified pathname existed, but it was not a directory,
             when a directory was expected.

     21 EISDIR Is a directory.  An attempt was made to open a directory with write mode specified.

     22 EINVAL Invalid argument.  Some invalid argument was supplied. (For example, specifying an undefined
             signal to a signal or kill function).

     23 ENFILE Too many open files in system.  Maximum number of file descriptors allowable on the system
             has been reached and a requests for an open cannot be satisfied until at least one has been

     24 EMFILE Too many open files.  <As released, the limit on the number of open files per process is 64.>
             Getdtablesize(2) will obtain the current limit.

     25 ENOTTY Inappropriate ioctl for device.  A control function (see ioctl(2)) was attempted for a file
             or special device for which the operation was inappropriate.

     26 ETXTBSY Text file busy.  The new process was a pure procedure (shared text) file which was open for
             writing by another process, or while the pure procedure file was being executed an open call
             requested write access.

     27 EFBIG File too large.  The size of a file exceeded the maximum (about 2.1E9 bytes on some filesys-tems filesystems
             tems including UFS, 1.8E19 bytes on HFS+ and others).

     28 ENOSPC Device out of space.  A write to an ordinary file, the creation of a directory or symbolic
             link, or the creation of a directory entry failed because no more disk blocks were available on
             the file system, or the allocation of an inode for a newly created file failed because no more
             inodes were available on the file system.

     29 ESPIPE Illegal seek.  An lseek function was issued on a socket, pipe or FIFO.

     30 EROFS Read-only file system.  An attempt was made to modify a file or directory was made on a file
             system that was read-only at the time.

     31 EMLINK Too many links.  Maximum allowable hard links to a single file has been exceeded (limit of
             32767 hard links per file).

     32 EPIPE Broken pipe.  A write on a pipe, socket or FIFO for which there is no process to read the

     33 EDOM Numerical argument out of domain.  A numerical input argument was outside the defined domain of
             the mathematical function.

     34 ERANGE Numerical result out of range.  A numerical result of the function was too large to fit in
             the available space (perhaps exceeded precision).

     35 EAGAIN Resource temporarily unavailable.  This is a temporary condition and later calls to the same
             routine may complete normally.

     36 EINPROGRESS Operation now in progress.  An operation that takes a long time to complete (such as a
             connect(2)) was attempted on a non-blocking object (see fcntl(2)).

     37 EALREADY Operation already in progress.  An operation was attempted on a non-blocking object that
             already had an operation in progress.

     38 ENOTSOCK Socket operation on non-socket.  Self-explanatory.

     39 EDESTADDRREQ Destination address required.  A required address was omitted from an operation on a

     40 EMSGSIZE Message too long.  A message sent on a socket was larger than the internal message buffer
             or some other network limit.

     41 EPROTOTYPE Protocol wrong type for socket.  A protocol was specified that does not support the
             semantics of the socket type requested. For example, you cannot use the ARPA Internet UDP pro-tocol protocol
             tocol with type SOCK_STREAM.

     42 ENOPROTOOPT Protocol not available.  A bad option or level was specified in a getsockopt(2) or
             setsockopt(2) call.

     43 EPROTONOSUPPORT Protocol not supported.  The protocol has not been configured into the system or no
             implementation for it exists.

     44 ESOCKTNOSUPPORT Socket type not supported.  The support for the socket type has not been configured
             into the system or no implementation for it exists.

     45 ENOTSUP Not supported.  The attempted operation is not supported for the type of object referenced.

     46 EPFNOSUPPORT Protocol family not supported.  The protocol family has not been configured into the
             system or no implementation for it exists.

     47 EAFNOSUPPORT Address family not supported by protocol family.  An address incompatible with the
             requested protocol was used.  For example, you shouldn't necessarily expect to be able to use
             NS addresses with ARPA Internet protocols.

     48 EADDRINUSE Address already in use.  Only one usage of each address is normally permitted.

     49 EADDRNOTAVAIL Cannot assign requested address.  Normally results from an attempt to create a socket
             with an address not on this machine.

     50 ENETDOWN Network is down.  A socket operation encountered a dead network.

     51 ENETUNREACH Network is unreachable.  A socket operation was attempted to an unreachable network.

     52 ENETRESET Network dropped connection on reset.  The host you were connected to crashed and rebooted.

     53 ECONNABORTED Software caused connection abort.  A connection abort was caused internal to your host

     54 ECONNRESET Connection reset by peer.  A connection was forcibly closed by a peer.  This normally
             results from a loss of the connection on the remote socket due to a timeout or a reboot.

     55 ENOBUFS No buffer space available.  An operation on a socket or pipe was not performed because the
             system lacked sufficient buffer space or because a queue was full.

     56 EISCONN Socket is already connected.  A connect request was made on an already connected socket; or,
             a sendto or sendmsg request on a connected socket specified a destination when already con-nected. connected.

     57 ENOTCONN Socket is not connected.  An request to send or receive data was disallowed because the
             socket was not connected and (when sending on a datagram socket) no address was supplied.

     58 ESHUTDOWN Cannot send after socket shutdown.  A request to send data was disallowed because the
             socket had already been shut down with a previous shutdown(2) call.

     60 ETIMEDOUT Operation timed out.  A connect or send request failed because the connected party did not
             properly respond after a period of time.  (The timeout period is dependent on the communication

     61 ECONNREFUSED Connection refused.  No connection could be made because the target machine actively
             refused it.  This usually results from trying to connect to a service that is inactive on the
             foreign host.

     62 ELOOP Too many levels of symbolic links.  A path name lookup involved more than 8 symbolic links.

     63 ENAMETOOLONG File name too long.  A component of a path name exceeded 255 (MAXNAMELEN) characters,
             or an entire path name exceeded 1023 (MAXPATHLEN-1) characters.

     64 EHOSTDOWN Host is down.  A socket operation failed because the destination host was down.

     65 EHOSTUNREACH No route to host.  A socket operation was attempted to an unreachable host.

     66 ENOTEMPTY Directory not empty.  A directory with entries other than `.' and `..' was supplied to a
             remove directory or rename call.

     67 EPROCLIM Too many processes.

     68 EUSERS Too many users.  The quota system ran out of table entries.

     69 EDQUOT Disc quota exceeded.  A write to an ordinary file, the creation of a directory or symbolic
             link, or the creation of a directory entry failed because the user's quota of disk blocks was
             exhausted, or the allocation of an inode for a newly created file failed because the user's
             quota of inodes was exhausted.

     70 ESTALE Stale NFS file handle.  An attempt was made to access an open file (on an NFS filesystem)
             which is now unavailable as referenced by the file descriptor.  This may indicate the file was
             deleted on the NFS server or some other catastrophic event occurred.

     72 EBADRPC RPC struct is bad.  Exchange of RPC information was unsuccessful.

     73 ERPCMISMATCH RPC version wrong.  The version of RPC on the remote peer is not compatible with the
             local version.

     74 EPROGUNAVAIL RPC prog. not avail.  The requested program is not registered on the remote host.

     75 EPROGMISMATCH Program version wrong.  The requested version of the program is not available on the
             remote host (RPC).

     76 EPROCUNAVAIL Bad procedure for program.  An RPC call was attempted for a procedure which doesn't
             exist in the remote program.

     77 ENOLCK No locks available.  A system-imposed limit on the number of simultaneous file locks was

     78 ENOSYS Function not implemented.  Attempted a system call that is not available on this system.

     79 EFTYPE Inappropriate file type or format.  The file was the wrong type for the operation, or a data
             file had the wrong format.

     80 EAUTH Authentication error.  Attempted to use an invalid authentication ticket to mount an NFS file

     81 ENEEDAUTH Need authenticator.  An authentication ticket must be obtained before the given NFS file
             system may be mounted.

     82 EPWROFF Device power is off.  The device power is off.

     83 EDEVERR Device error.  A device error has occurred, e.g. a printer running out of paper.

     84 EOVERFLOW Value too large to be stored in data type.  A numerical result of the function was too
             large to be stored in the caller provided space.

     85 EBADEXEC Bad executable (or shared library).  The executable or shared library being referenced was

     86 EBADARCH Bad CPU type in executable.  The executable in question does not support the current CPU.

     87 ESHLIBVERS Shared library version mismatch.  The version of the shared library on the system does
             not match the version which was expected.

     88 EBADMACHO Malformed Mach-o file.  The Mach object file is malformed.

     89 ECANCELED Operation canceled.  The scheduled operation was canceled.

     90 EIDRM Identifier removed.  An IPC identifier was removed while the current process was waiting on

     91 ENOMSG No message of desired type.  An IPC message queue does not contain a message of the desired
             type, or a message catalog does not contain the requested message.

     92 EILSEQ Illegal byte sequence.  While decoding a multibyte character the function came along an
             invalid or an incomplete sequence of bytes or the given wide character is invalid.

     93 ENOATTR Attribute not found.  The specified extended attribute does not exist.

     94 EBADMSG Bad message.  The message to be received is inapprorpiate for the operation being attempted.

     95 EMULTIHOP Reserved.  This error is reserved for future use.

     96 ENODATA No message available.  No message was available to be received by the requested operation.

     97 ENOLINK Reserved.  This error is reserved for future use.

     98 ENOSR No STREAM resources.  This error is reserved for future use.

     99 ENOSTR Not a STREAM.  This error is reserved for future use.

     100 EPROTO Protocol error.  Some protocol error occurred. This error is device-specific, but is gener-ally generally
             ally not related to a hardware failure.

     101 ETIME STREAM ioctl() timeout.  This error is reserved for future use.

     102 EOPNOTSUPP Operation not supported on socket.  The attempted operation is not supported for the
             type of socket referenced; for example, trying to accept a connection on a datagram socket.

     Process ID.
             Each active process in the system is uniquely identified by a non-negative integer called a
             process ID.  The range of this ID is from 0 to 30000.

     Parent process ID
             A new process is created by a currently active process; (see fork(2)).  The parent process ID
             of a process is initially the process ID of its creator.  If the creating process exits, the
             parent process ID of each child is set to the ID of a system process, init.

     Process Group
             Each active process is a member of a process group that is identified by a non-negative integer
             called the process group ID.  This is the process ID of the group leader.  This grouping per-mits permits
             mits the signaling of related processes (see termios(4)) and the job control mechanisms of

             A session is a set of one or more process groups.  A session is created by a successful call to
             setsid(2), which causes the caller to become the only member of the only process group in the
             new session.

     Session leader
             A process that has created a new session by a successful call to setsid(2), is known as a ses-sion session
             sion leader.  Only a session leader may acquire a terminal as its controlling terminal (see

     Controlling process
             A session leader with a controlling terminal is a controlling process.

     Controlling terminal
             A terminal that is associated with a session is known as the controlling terminal for that ses-sion session
             sion and its members.

     Terminal Process Group ID
             A terminal may be acquired by a session leader as its controlling terminal.  Once a terminal is
             associated with a session, any of the process groups within the session may be placed into the
             foreground by setting the terminal process group ID to the ID of the process group.  This
             facility is used to arbitrate between multiple jobs contending for the same terminal; (see
             csh(1) and tty(4)).

     Orphaned Process Group
             A process group is considered to be orphaned if it is not under the control of a job control
             shell.  More precisely, a process group is orphaned when none of its members has a parent
             process that is in the same session as the group, but is in a different process group.  Note
             that when a process exits, the parent process for its children is changed to be init, which is
             in a separate session.  Not all members of an orphaned process group are necessarily orphaned
             processes (those whose creating process has exited).  The process group of a session leader is
             orphaned by definition.

     Real User ID and Real Group ID
             Each user on the system is identified by a positive integer termed the real user ID.

             Each user is also a member of one or more groups.  One of these groups is distinguished from
             others and used in implementing accounting facilities.  The positive integer corresponding to
             this distinguished group is termed the real group ID.

             All processes have a real user ID and real group ID.  These are initialized from the equivalent
             attributes of the process that created it.

     Effective User Id, Effective Group Id, and Group Access List
             Access to system resources is governed by two values: the effective user ID, and the group
             access list.  The first member of the group access list is also known as the effective group
             ID.  (In POSIX.1, the group access list is known as the set of supplementary group IDs, and it
             is unspecified whether the effective group ID is a member of the list.)

             The effective user ID and effective group ID are initially the process's real user ID and real
             group ID respectively.  Either may be modified through execution of a set-user-ID or set-group-ID set-groupID
             ID file (possibly by one its ancestors) (see execve(2)).  By convention, the effective group ID
             (the first member of the group access list) is duplicated, so that the execution of a set-group-ID setgroup-ID
             group-ID program does not result in the loss of the original (real) group ID.

             The group access list is a set of group IDs used only in determining resource accessibility.
             Access checks are performed as described below in ``File Access Permissions''.

     Saved Set User ID and Saved Set Group ID
             When a process executes a new file, the effective user ID is set to the owner of the file if
             the file is set-user-ID, and the effective group ID (first element of the group access list) is
             set to the group of the file if the file is set-group-ID.  The effective user ID of the process
             is then recorded as the saved set-user-ID, and the effective group ID of the process is
             recorded as the saved set-group-ID.  These values may be used to regain those values as the
             effective user or group ID after reverting to the real ID (see setuid(2)).  (In POSIX.1, the
             saved set-user-ID and saved set-group-ID are optional, and are used in setuid and setgid, but
             this does not work as desired for the super-user.)

             A process is recognized as a super-user process and is granted special privileges if its effec-tive effective
             tive user ID is 0.

     Special Processes
             The processes with process IDs of 0, 1, and 2 are special.  Process 0 is the scheduler.
             Process 1 is the initialization process init, and is the ancestor of every other process in the
             system.  It is used to control the process structure.  Process 2 is the paging daemon.

             An integer assigned by the system when a file is referenced by open(2) or dup(2), or when a
             socket is created by pipe(2), socket(2) or socketpair(2), which uniquely identifies an access
             path to that file or socket from a given process or any of its children.

     File Name
             Names consisting of up to 255 (MAXNAMELEN) characters may be used to name an ordinary file,
             special file, or directory.

             These characters may be selected from the set of all ASCII character excluding 0 (NUL) and the
             ASCII code for `/' (slash).

             Note that it is generally unwise to use `*', `?', `[' or `]' as part of file names because of
             the special meaning attached to these characters by the shell.

     Path Name
             A path name is a NUL-terminated character string starting with an optional slash `/', followed
             by zero or more directory names separated by slashes, optionally followed by a file name.  The
             total length of a path name must be less than 1024 (MAXPATHLEN) characters.

             If a path name begins with a slash, the path search begins at the root directory.  Otherwise,
             the search begins from the current working directory.  A slash by itself names the root direc-tory. directory.
             tory.  An empty pathname refers to the current directory.

             A directory is a special type of file that contains entries that are references to other files.
             Directory entries are called links.  By convention, a directory contains at least two links,
             `.' and `..', referred to as dot and dot-dot respectively.  Dot refers to the directory itself
             and dot-dot refers to its parent directory.

     Root Directory and Current Working Directory
             Each process has associated with it a concept of a root directory and a current working direc-tory directory
             tory for the purpose of resolving path name searches.  A process's root directory need not be
             the root directory of the root file system.

     File Access Permissions
             Every file in the file system has a set of access permissions.  These permissions are used in
             determining whether a process may perform a requested operation on the file (such as opening a
             file for writing).  Access permissions are established at the time a file is created.  They may
             be changed at some later time through the chmod(2) call.

             File access is broken down according to whether a file may be: read, written, or executed.
             Directory files use the execute permission to control if the directory may be searched.

             File access permissions are interpreted by the system as they apply to three different classes
             of users: the owner of the file, those users in the file's group, anyone else.  Every file has
             an independent set of access permissions for each of these classes.  When an access check is
             made, the system decides if permission should be granted by checking the access information
             applicable to the caller.

             Read, write, and execute/search permissions on a file are granted to a process if:

             The process's effective user ID is that of the super-user. (Note: even the super-user cannot
             execute a non-executable file.)

             The process's effective user ID matches the user ID of the owner of the file and the owner per-missions permissions
             missions allow the access.

             The process's effective user ID does not match the user ID of the owner of the file, and either
             the process's effective group ID matches the group ID of the file, or the group ID of the file
             is in the process's group access list, and the group permissions allow the access.

             Neither the effective user ID nor effective group ID and group access list of the process match
             the corresponding user ID and group ID of the file, but the permissions for ``other users''
             allow access.

             Otherwise, permission is denied.

     Sockets and Address Families

             A socket is an endpoint for communication between processes.  Each socket has queues for send-ing sending
             ing and receiving data.

             Sockets are typed according to their communications properties.  These properties include
             whether messages sent and received at a socket require the name of the partner, whether commu-nication communication
             nication is reliable, the format used in naming message recipients, etc.

             Each instance of the system supports some collection of socket types; consult socket(2) for
             more information about the types available and their properties.

             Each instance of the system supports some number of sets of communications protocols.  Each
             protocol set supports addresses of a certain format.  An Address Family is the set of addresses
             for a specific group of protocols.  Each socket has an address chosen from the address family
             in which the socket was created.


     An intro manual page appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

4th Berkeley Distribution      December 11, 1993     4th Berkeley Distribution

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