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SENDFILE(2)		  FreeBSD System Calls Manual		   SENDFILE(2)

     sendfile -- send a	file to	a socket

     Standard C	Library	(libc, -lc)

     #include <sys/types.h>
     #include <sys/socket.h>
     #include <sys/uio.h>

     sendfile(int fd, int s, off_t offset, size_t nbytes,
	 struct	sf_hdtr	*hdtr, off_t *sbytes, int flags);

     The sendfile() system call	sends a	regular	file or	shared memory object
     specified by descriptor fd	out a stream socket specified by descriptor s.

     The offset	argument specifies where to begin in the file.	Should offset
     fall beyond the end of file, the system will return success and report 0
     bytes sent	as described below.  The nbytes	argument specifies how many
     bytes of the file should be sent, with 0 having the special meaning of
     send until	the end	of file	has been reached.

     An	optional header	and/or trailer can be sent before and after the	file
     data by specifying	a pointer to a struct sf_hdtr, which has the following

	   struct sf_hdtr {
		   struct iovec	*headers;  /* pointer to header	iovecs */
		   int hdr_cnt;		   /* number of	header iovecs */
		   struct iovec	*trailers; /* pointer to trailer iovecs	*/
		   int trl_cnt;		   /* number of	trailer	iovecs */

     The headers and trailers pointers,	if non-NULL, point to arrays of	struct
     iovec structures.	See the	writev() system	call for information on	the
     iovec structure.  The number of iovecs in these arrays is specified by
     hdr_cnt and trl_cnt.

     If	non-NULL, the system will write	the total number of bytes sent on the
     socket to the variable pointed to by sbytes.

     The least significant 16 bits of flags argument is	a bitmap of these val-

	   SF_NODISKIO	 This flag causes sendfile to return EBUSY instead of
			 blocking when a busy page is encountered.  This rare
			 situation can happen if some other process is now
			 working with the same region of the file.  It is
			 advised to retry the operation	after a	short period.

			 Note that in older FreeBSD versions the SF_NODISKIO
			 had slightly different	notion.	 The flag prevented
			 sendfile to run I/O operations	in case	if an invalid
			 (not cached) page is encountered, thus	avoiding
			 blocking on I/O.  Starting with FreeBSD 11 sendfile
			 sending files off the ffs(7) filesystem doesn't block
			 on I/O	(see IMPLEMENTATION NOTES ), so	the condition
			 no longer applies.  However, it is safe if an appli-
			 cation	utilizes SF_NODISKIO and on EBUSY performs the
			 same action as	it did in older	FreeBSD	versions, e.g.
			 aio_read(2,) read(2) or sendfile in a different con-

	   SF_NOCACHE	 The data sent to socket will not be cached by the
			 virtual memory	system,	and will be freed directly to
			 the pool of free pages.

	   SF_SYNC	 sendfile sleeps until the network stack no longer
			 references the	VM pages of the	file, making subse-
			 quent modifications to	it safe.  Please note that
			 this is not a guarantee that the data has actually
			 been sent.

     The most significant 16 bits of flags specify amount of pages that
     sendfile may read ahead when reading the file.  A macro SF_FLAGS()	is
     provided to combine readahead amount and flags.  Example shows specifing
     readahead of 16 pages and SF_NOCACHE flag:


     When using	a socket marked	for non-blocking I/O, sendfile() may send
     fewer bytes than requested.  In this case,	the number of bytes success-
     fully written is returned in *sbytes (if specified), and the error	EAGAIN
     is	returned.

     The FreeBSD implementation	of sendfile() doesn't block on disk I/O	when
     it	sends a	file off the ffs(7) filesystem.	 The syscall returns success
     before the	actual I/O completes, and data is put into the socket later
     unattended.  However, the order of	data in	the socket is preserved, so it
     is	safe to	do further writes to the socket.

     The FreeBSD implementation	of sendfile() is "zero-copy", meaning that it
     has been optimized	so that	copying	of the file data is avoided.

     On	some architectures, this system	call internally	uses a special
     sendfile()	buffer (struct sf_buf) to handle sending file data to the
     client.  If the sending socket is blocking, and there are not enough
     sendfile()	buffers	available, sendfile() will block and report a state of
     ``sfbufa''.  If the sending socket	is non-blocking	and there are not
     enough sendfile() buffers available, the call will	block and wait for the
     necessary buffers to become available before finishing the	call.

     The number	of sf_buf's allocated should be	proportional to	the number of
     nmbclusters used to send data to a	client via sendfile().	Tune accord-
     ingly to avoid blocking!  Busy installations that make extensive use of
     sendfile()	may want to increase these values to be	inline with their
     kern.ipc.nmbclusters (see tuning(7) for details).

     The number	of sendfile() buffers available	is determined at boot time by
     either the	kern.ipc.nsfbufs loader.conf(5)	variable or the	NSFBUFS	kernel
     configuration tunable.  The number	of sendfile() buffers scales with
     kern.maxusers.  The kern.ipc.nsfbufsused and kern.ipc.nsfbufspeak read-
     only sysctl(8) variables show current and peak sendfile() buffers usage
     respectively.  These values may also be viewed through netstat -m.

     If	a value	of zero	is reported for	kern.ipc.nsfbufs, your architecture
     does not need to use sendfile() buffers because their task	can be effi-
     ciently performed by the generic virtual memory structures.

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

     [EAGAIN]		The socket is marked for non-blocking I/O and not all
			data was sent due to the socket	buffer being filled.
			If specified, the number of bytes successfully sent
			will be	returned in *sbytes.

     [EBADF]		The fd argument	is not a valid file descriptor.

     [EBADF]		The s argument is not a	valid socket descriptor.

     [EBUSY]		A busy page was	encountered and	SF_NODISKIO had	been
			specified.  Partial data may have been sent.

     [EFAULT]		An invalid address was specified for an	argument.

     [EINTR]		A signal interrupted sendfile()	before it could	be
			completed.  If specified, the number of	bytes success-
			fully sent will	be returned in *sbytes.

     [EINVAL]		The fd argument	is not a regular file.

     [EINVAL]		The s argument is not a	SOCK_STREAM type socket.

     [EINVAL]		The offset argument is negative.

     [EIO]		An error occurred while	reading	from fd.

     [ENOBUFS]		The system was unable to allocate an internal buffer.

     [ENOTCONN]		The s argument points to an unconnected	socket.

     [ENOTSOCK]		The s argument is not a	socket.

     [EOPNOTSUPP]	The file system	for descriptor fd does not support

     [EPIPE]		The socket peer	has closed the connection.

     netstat(1), open(2), send(2), socket(2), writev(2), tuning(7)

     K.	Elmeleegy, A. Chanda, A. L. Cox, and W.	Zwaenepoel, "A Portable	Kernel
     Abstraction for Low-Overhead Ephemeral Mapping Management", The
     Proceedings of the	2005 USENIX Annual Technical Conference, pp 223-236,

     The sendfile() system call	first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.	This manual
     page first	appeared in FreeBSD 3.1.  In FreeBSD 10	support	for sending
     shared memory descriptors had been	introduced.  In	FreeBSD	11 a non-
     blocking implementation had been introduced.

     The initial implementation	of sendfile() system call and this manual page
     were written by David G. Lawrence <>.  The FreeBSD 11
     implementation was	written	by
     Gleb Smirnoff <>.

FreeBSD	11.0			January	7, 2016			  FreeBSD 11.0


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