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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     flock -- apply or remove an advisory lock on an open file

LIBRARY    [Toc]    [Back]

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     #include <sys/file.h>
     #define   LOCK_SH	      0x01	/* shared file lock */
     #define   LOCK_EX	      0x02	/* exclusive file lock */
     #define   LOCK_NB	      0x04	/* don't block when locking */
     #define   LOCK_UN	      0x08	/* unlock file */

     flock(int fd, int operation);

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     The flock() system call applies or removes an advisory lock on the file
     associated with the file descriptor fd.  A lock is applied by specifying
     an operation argument that is one of LOCK_SH or LOCK_EX with the optional
     addition of LOCK_NB.  To unlock an existing lock operation should be

     Advisory locks allow cooperating processes to perform consistent operations
 on files, but do not guarantee consistency (i.e., processes may
     still access files without using advisory locks possibly resulting in

     The locking mechanism allows two types of locks: shared locks and
     exclusive locks.  At any time multiple shared locks may be applied to a
     file, but at no time are multiple exclusive, or both shared and exclusive,
 locks allowed simultaneously on a file.

     A shared lock may be upgraded to an exclusive lock, and vice versa, simply
 by specifying the appropriate lock type; this results in the previous
     lock being released and the new lock applied (possibly after other processes
 have gained and released the lock).

     Requesting a lock on an object that is already locked normally causes the
     caller to be blocked until the lock may be acquired.  If LOCK_NB is
     included in operation, then this will not happen; instead the call will
     fail and the error EWOULDBLOCK will be returned.

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

     Locks are on files, not file descriptors.	That is, file descriptors
     duplicated through dup(2) or fork(2) do not result in multiple instances
     of a lock, but rather multiple references to a single lock.  If a process
     holding a lock on a file forks and the child explicitly unlocks the file,
     the parent will lose its lock.

     Processes blocked awaiting a lock may be awakened by signals.

RETURN VALUES    [Toc]    [Back]

     The flock() function returns the value 0 if successful; otherwise the
     value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the

ERRORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The flock() system call fails if:

     [EWOULDBLOCK]	The file is locked and the LOCK_NB option was specified.

     [EBADF]		The argument fd is an invalid descriptor.

     [EINVAL]		The argument fd refers to an object other than a file.

     [EOPNOTSUPP]	The argument fd refers to an object that does not support
 file locking.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     close(2), dup(2), execve(2), fork(2), open(2)

HISTORY    [Toc]    [Back]

     The flock() system call appeared in 4.2BSD.

FreeBSD 5.2.1		       December 11, 1993		 FreeBSD 5.2.1
[ Back ]
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