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Linux / Unix Command: flock
Command Library

NAME

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

SYNOPSIS

#include <sys/file.h>

int flock(int fd, int operation);  

DESCRIPTION

Apply or remove an advisory lock on the open file specified by fd. The parameter operation is one of the following:

LOCK_SH
Place a shared lock. More than one process may hold a shared lock for a given file at a given time.
LOCK_EX
Place an exclusive lock. Only one process may hold an exclusive lock for a given file at a given time.
LOCK_UN
Remove an existing lock held by this process.

A call to flock() may block if an incompatible lock is held by another process. To make a non-blocking request, include LOCK_NB (by ORing) with any of the above operations.

A single file may not simultaneously have both shared and exclusive locks.

Locks created by flock() are associated with a file, or, more precisely, an open file table entry. This means that duplicate file descriptors (created by, for example, fork(2) or dup(2)) refer to the same lock, and this lock may be modified or released using any of these descriptors. Furthermore, the lock is released either by an explicit LOCK_UN operation on any of these duplicate descriptors, or when all such descriptors have been closed.

A process may only hold one type of lock (shared or exclusive) on a file. Subsequent flock() calls on an already locked file will convert an existing lock to the new lock mode.

Locks created by flock() are preserved across an execve(2).

A shared or exclusive lock can be placed on a file regardless of the mode in which the file was opened.  

RETURN VALUE

On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.  

ERRORS

EWOULDBLOCK
The file is locked and the LOCK_NB flag was selected.
EBADF
fd is not a not an open file descriptor.
EINTR
While waiting to acquire a lock, the call was interrupted by delivery of a signal caught by a handler.
EINVAL
operation is invalid.
ENOLCK
The kernel ran out of memory for allocating lock records.
 

CONFORMING TO

4.4BSD (the flock(2) call first appeared in 4.2BSD). A version of flock(2), possibly implemented in terms of fcntl(2), appears on most Unices.  

SEE ALSO

open(2), close(2), dup(2), execve(2), fcntl(2), fork(2), lockf(3)

There are also locks.txt and mandatory.txt in /usr/src/linux/Documentation.


Important: Use the man command (% man) to see how a command is used on your particular computer.

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