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TRUNCATE(2) System Calls Manual TRUNCATE(2)


truncate, ftruncatetruncate or extend a file to a specified length


#include <unistd.h>
truncate(const char *path, off_t length);
ftruncate(int fd, off_t length);


truncate() causes the file named by path or referenced by fd to be truncated or extended to length bytes in size. If the file was larger than this size, the extra data is lost. If the file was smaller than this size, it will be extended as if by writing bytes with the value zero. With ftruncate(), the file must be open for writing.


Upon successful completion, the value 0 is returned; otherwise the value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error.


truncate() and ftruncate() will succeed unless:
The length is a negative value.
The length exceeds the maximum file size of the underlying filesystem.
An I/O error occurred updating the inode.
In addition, truncate() may return the following errors:
A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
A component of a pathname exceeded NAME_MAX characters, or an entire pathname (including the terminating NUL) exceeded PATH_MAX bytes.
The named file does not exist.
Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix.
The named file is not writable by the user.
Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.
The named file is a directory.
The named file resides on a read-only file system.
The file is a pure procedure (shared text) file that is being executed.
path points outside the process's allocated address space.
ftruncate() may return the following errors:
The fd is not a valid descriptor.
The fd references a socket, not a file.
The fd is not open for writing.




The truncate() and ftruncate() functions conform to IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”).


The truncate() and ftruncate() system calls first appeared in 4.1cBSD.


These calls should be generalized to allow ranges of bytes in a file to be discarded.
Use of truncate() to extend a file is not portable.
February 28, 2016 OpenBSD-current