fseek(3) Library Functions Manual fseek(3)

fgetpos, fseek, fsetpos, ftell, rewind - reposition a stream

Standard C library (libc, -lc)

#include <stdio.h>
int fseek(FILE *stream, long offset, int whence);
long ftell(FILE *stream);
void rewind(FILE *stream);
int fgetpos(FILE *restrict stream, fpos_t *restrict pos);
int fsetpos(FILE *stream, const fpos_t *pos);

The fseek() function sets the file position indicator for the stream pointed to by stream. The new position, measured in bytes, is obtained by adding offset bytes to the position specified by whence. If whence is set to SEEK_SET, SEEK_CUR, or SEEK_END, the offset is relative to the start of the file, the current position indicator, or end-of-file, respectively. A successful call to the fseek() function clears the end-of-file indicator for the stream and undoes any effects of the ungetc(3) function on the same stream.

The ftell() function obtains the current value of the file position indicator for the stream pointed to by stream.

The rewind() function sets the file position indicator for the stream pointed to by stream to the beginning of the file. It is equivalent to:

(void) fseek(stream, 0L, SEEK_SET)

except that the error indicator for the stream is also cleared (see clearerr(3)).

The fgetpos() and fsetpos() functions are alternate interfaces equivalent to ftell() and fseek() (with whence set to SEEK_SET), setting and storing the current value of the file offset into or from the object referenced by pos. On some non-UNIX systems, an fpos_t object may be a complex object and these routines may be the only way to portably reposition a text stream.

If the stream refers to a regular file and the resulting stream offset is beyond the size of the file, subsequent writes will extend the file with a hole, up to the offset, before committing any data. See lseek(2) for details on file seeking semantics.

The rewind() function returns no value. Upon successful completion, fgetpos(), fseek(), fsetpos() return 0, and ftell() returns the current offset. Otherwise, -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.

The whence argument to fseek() was not SEEK_SET, SEEK_END, or SEEK_CUR. Or: the resulting file offset would be negative.
The file descriptor underlying stream is not seekable (e.g., it refers to a pipe, FIFO, or socket).

The functions fgetpos(), fseek(), fsetpos(), and ftell() may also fail and set errno for any of the errors specified for the routines fflush(3), fstat(2), lseek(2), and malloc(3).

For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface Attribute Value
fseek (), ftell (), rewind (), fgetpos (), fsetpos () Thread safety MT-Safe

C11, POSIX.1-2008.

POSIX.1-2001, C89.

lseek(2), fseeko(3)

2024-05-02 Linux man-pages 6.9.1