By Warren W Gay

Complex UNIX Programming is going past the basics of UNIX programming and offers details and methods the readers must extend their wisdom base. Designed for pro UNIX programmers, this publication builds at the abilities and data the reader already possesses. It contains assurance of net tactics, interprocess keep an eye on, dossier method manipulation, synchronization, and masses extra.

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H> extern int sys_nerr; /* Highest supported error code */ int main(int argc,char **argv) { int x; 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: } static int ecodes[] = { -1, EIO, 0 } ; /* Get maximum code and add 4096 */ ecodes[2] = sys_nerr + 4096; /* A very high code */ for ( x=0; x<3; ++x ) { errno = ecodes[x]; printf("%4d = '%s'\n",ecodes[x],strerror(errno)); } return 0; This test program tries strerror(3) with a -1 value, EIO, and a very high error code, which should not exist. /strerror -1 = 'Unknown error: -1' 5 = 'Input/output error' 4183 = 'Unknown error: 4183' $ This shows how well behaved the strerror(3) function is, despite the bad errno values that were provided to it.

As a general policy, never expect the errno value to be cleared to zero for success. Only errors (failures) are posted to this variable. There are special situations that require you to clear the errno value to zero before making a function call (some examples are strtol(3), strtoul(3), strtod(3), and getpwent(3)). This is necessary because the function will not clear the errno value to zero when success is returned. Under these special circumstances, if the errno value remains as the value 0 (presuming it was cleared prior to the call), then this indicates a successful return.

You open it as you would any other file. For example, if you have permission to open a disk partition, your program can use the open(2) call to open it for reading and writing. For example int fd; fd = open("/dev/wd0s2f",O_RDWR); if ( fd == -1 ) /* Error handling... */ From this point on, this sample program would have access to the entire disk or disk partition, assuming that the open call succeeded. File systems have their special files protected so that normal users cannot open them this way.

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