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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 specified by descriptor
     fd out a stream socket specified by descriptor s.

     The offset argument specifies where to begin in the file.  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

     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 flags argument is currently undefined and should be specified as 0.

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

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

     Internally, this system call uses a special sendfile(2) 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(2) 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(2).  Tune
     accordingly to avoid blocking!  Busy installations that make extensive
     use of sendfile(2) may want to increase these values to be inline with
     their kern.ipc.nmbclusters (see tuning(7) for details).

     The number of sendfile(2) buffers in use 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

     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

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

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

     [ENOTSOCK]         The s argument is not a socket.

     [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 or out of range.

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

     [EPIPE]            The socket peer has closed the connection.

     [EIO]              An error occurred while reading from fd.

     [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
                        successfully sent will be returned in *sbytes.

     [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.

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

     The sendfile() system call first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.  This manual
     page first appeared in FreeBSD 3.1.

     The sendfile() system call and this manual page were written by David G.
     Lawrence <>.

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE        November 5, 1998        FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


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