NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUE | ERRORS | VERSIONS | CONFORMING TO | NOTES | BUGS | SEE ALSO | COLOPHON

UTIMENSAT(2)              Linux Programmer's Manual             UTIMENSAT(2)

NAME         top

       utimensat,  futimens  - change file timestamps with nanosecond preciā€
       sion

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <fcntl.h> /* Definition of AT_* constants */
       #include <sys/stat.h>

       int utimensat(int dirfd, const char *pathname,
                     const struct timespec times[2], int flags);

       int futimens(int fd, const struct timespec times[2]);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       utimensat():
           Since glibc 2.10:
               _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
           Before glibc 2.10:
               _ATFILE_SOURCE
       futimens():
           Since glibc 2.10:
                  _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
           Before glibc 2.10:
                  _GNU_SOURCE

DESCRIPTION         top

       utimensat() and futimens() update the timestamps of a file with
       nanosecond precision.  This contrasts with the historical utime(2)
       and utimes(2), which permit only second and microsecond precision,
       respectively, when setting file timestamps.

       With utimensat() the file is specified via the pathname given in
       pathname.  With futimens() the file whose timestamps are to be
       updated is specified via an open file descriptor, fd.

       For both calls, the new file timestamps are specified in the array
       times: times[0] specifies the new "last access time" (atime);
       times[1] specifies the new "last modification time" (mtime).  Each of
       the elements of times specifies a time as the number of seconds and
       nanoseconds since the Epoch, 1970-01-01 00:00:00 +0000 (UTC).  This
       information is conveyed in a structure of the following form:

           struct timespec {
               time_t tv_sec;        /* seconds */
               long   tv_nsec;       /* nanoseconds */
           };

       Updated file timestamps are set to the greatest value supported by
       the filesystem that is not greater than the specified time.

       If the tv_nsec field of one of the timespec structures has the
       special value UTIME_NOW, then the corresponding file timestamp is set
       to the current time.  If the tv_nsec field of one of the timespec
       structures has the special value UTIME_OMIT, then the corresponding
       file timestamp is left unchanged.  In both of these cases, the value
       of the corresponding tv_sec field is ignored.

       If times is NULL, then both timestamps are set to the current time.

   Permissions requirements
       To set both file timestamps to the current time (i.e., times is NULL,
       or both tv_nsec fields specify UTIME_NOW), either:

       1. the caller must have write access to the file;

       2. the caller's effective user ID must match the owner of the file;
          or

       3. the caller must have appropriate privileges.

       To make any change other than setting both timestamps to the current
       time (i.e., times is not NULL, and neither tv_nsec field is UTIME_NOW
       and neither tv_nsec field is UTIME_OMIT), either condition 2 or 3
       above must apply.

       If both tv_nsec fields are specified as UTIME_OMIT, then no file
       ownership or permission checks are performed, and the file timestamps
       are not modified, but other error conditions may still be detected.

   utimensat() specifics
       If pathname is relative, then by default it is interpreted relative
       to the directory referred to by the open file descriptor, dirfd
       (rather than relative to the current working directory of the calling
       process, as is done by utimes(2) for a relative pathname).  See
       openat(2) for an explanation of why this can be useful.

       If pathname is relative and dirfd is the special value AT_FDCWD, then
       pathname is interpreted relative to the current working directory of
       the calling process (like utimes(2)).

       If pathname is absolute, then dirfd is ignored.

       The flags field is a bit mask that may be 0, or include the following
       constant, defined in <fcntl.h>:

       AT_SYMLINK_NOFOLLOW
              If pathname specifies a symbolic link, then update the
              timestamps of the link, rather than the file to which it
              refers.

RETURN VALUE         top

       On success, utimensat() and futimens() return 0.  On error, -1 is
       returned and errno is set to indicate the error.

ERRORS         top

       EACCES times is NULL, or both tv_nsec values are UTIME_NOW, and:
              * the effective user ID of the caller does not match the owner
                of the file, the caller does not have write access to the
                file, and the caller is not privileged (Linux: does not have
                either the CAP_FOWNER or the CAP_DAC_OVERRIDE capability);
                or,
              * the file is marked immutable (see chattr(1)).

       EBADF  (futimens()) fd is not a valid file descriptor.

       EBADF  (utimensat()) pathname is a relative pathname, but dirfd is
              neither AT_FDCWD nor a valid file descriptor.

       EFAULT times pointed to an invalid address; or, dirfd was AT_FDCWD,
              and pathname is NULL or an invalid address.

       EINVAL Invalid value in flags.

       EINVAL Invalid value in one of the tv_nsec fields (value outside
              range 0 to 999,999,999, and not UTIME_NOW or UTIME_OMIT); or
              an invalid value in one of the tv_sec fields.

       EINVAL pathname is NULL, dirfd is not AT_FDCWD, and flags contains
              AT_SYMLINK_NOFOLLOW.

       ELOOP  (utimensat()) Too many symbolic links were encountered in
              resolving pathname.

       ENAMETOOLONG
              (utimensat()) pathname is too long.

       ENOENT (utimensat()) A component of pathname does not refer to an
              existing directory or file, or pathname is an empty string.

       ENOTDIR
              (utimensat()) pathname is a relative pathname, but dirfd is
              neither AT_FDCWD nor a file descriptor referring to a
              directory; or, one of the prefix components of pathname is not
              a directory.

       EPERM  The caller attempted to change one or both timestamps to a
              value other than the current time, or to change one of the
              timestamps to the current time while leaving the other
              timestamp unchanged, (i.e., times is not NULL, neither tv_nsec
              field is UTIME_NOW, and neither tv_nsec field is UTIME_OMIT)
              and:
              * the caller's effective user ID does not match the owner of
                file, and the caller is not privileged (Linux: does not have
                the CAP_FOWNER capability); or,
              * the file is marked append-only or immutable (see chattr(1)).

       EROFS  The file is on a read-only filesystem.

       ESRCH  (utimensat()) Search permission is denied for one of the
              prefix components of pathname.

VERSIONS         top

       utimensat() was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.22; glibc support was
       added with version 2.6.

       Support for futimens() first appeared in glibc 2.6.

CONFORMING TO         top

       futimens() and utimensat() are specified in POSIX.1-2008.

NOTES         top

       utimensat() obsoletes futimesat(2).

       On Linux, timestamps cannot be changed for a file marked immutable,
       and the only change permitted for files marked append-only is to set
       the timestamps to the current time.  (This is consistent with the
       historical behavior of utime(2) and utimes(2) on Linux.)

       On Linux, futimens() is a library function implemented on top of the
       utimensat() system call.  To support this, the Linux utimensat()
       system call implements a nonstandard feature: if pathname is NULL,
       then the call modifies the timestamps of the file referred to by the
       file descriptor dirfd (which may refer to any type of file).  Using
       this feature, the call futimens(fd, times) is implemented as:

           utimensat(fd, NULL, times, 0);

BUGS         top

       Several bugs afflict utimensat() and futimens() on kernels before
       2.6.26.  These bugs are either nonconformances with the POSIX.1 draft
       specification or inconsistencies with historical Linux behavior.

       * POSIX.1 specifies that if one of the tv_nsec fields has the value
         UTIME_NOW or UTIME_OMIT, then the value of the corresponding tv_sec
         field should be ignored.  Instead, the value of the tv_sec field is
         required to be 0 (or the error EINVAL results).

       * Various bugs mean that for the purposes of permission checking, the
         case where both tv_nsec fields are set to UTIME_NOW isn't always
         treated the same as specifying times as NULL, and the case where
         one tv_nsec value is UTIME_NOW and the other is UTIME_OMIT isn't
         treated the same as specifying times as a pointer to an array of
         structures containing arbitrary time values.  As a result, in some
         cases: a) file timestamps can be updated by a process that
         shouldn't have permission to perform updates; b) file timestamps
         can't be updated by a process that should have permission to
         perform updates; and c) the wrong errno value is returned in case
         of an error.

       * POSIX.1 says that a process that has write access to the file can
         make a call with times as NULL, or with times pointing to an array
         of structures in which both tv_nsec fields are UTIME_NOW, in order
         to update both timestamps to the current time.  However, futimens()
         instead checks whether the access mode of the file descriptor
         allows writing.

SEE ALSO         top

       chattr(1), futimesat(2), openat(2), stat(2), utimes(2), futimes(3),
       path_resolution(7), symlink(7)

COLOPHON         top

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       latest version of this page, can be found at
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Linux                            2014-01-24                     UTIMENSAT(2)