fseek, rewind, ftell -- reposition a file pointer in a stream


   #include <stdio.h>

int fseek(FILE *stream, long offset, int ptrname);

void rewind(FILE *stream);

long ftell(FILE *stream);


fseek sets the position of the next input or output operation on the stream (see intro(3)). The new position is at the signed distance offset bytes from the beginning, from the current position, or from the end of the file, according to a ptrname value of SEEK_SET, SEEK_CUR, or SEEK_END (defined in stdio.h) as follows:

set position equal to offset bytes.

set position to current location plus offset.

set position to EOF plus offset.

fseek allows the file position indicator to be set beyond the end of the existing data in the file. If data is later written at this point, subsequent reads of data in the gap will return zero until data is actually written into the gap. fseek, by itself, does not extend the size of the file.

rewind (stream) is equivalent to:

   	(void) fseek (stream, 0L, SEEK_SET);
except that rewind also clears the error indicator on stream.

fseek and rewind clear the EOF indicator and undo any effects of ungetc on stream. After fseek or rewind, the next operation on a file opened for update may be either input or output.

If stream is writable and buffered data has not been written to the underlying file, fseek and rewind cause the unwritten data to be written to the file.

ftell returns the offset of the current byte relative to the beginning of the file associated with the named stream.


fseek returns -1 for improper seeks, otherwise zero. An improper seek can be, for example, an fseek done on a file that has not been opened via fopen; in particular, fseek may not be used on a terminal or on a file opened via popen. After a stream is closed, no further operations are defined on that stream.

Both fseek and ftell fail when the resulting file offset would be a value which cannot be represented correctly in an object of type long.


fopen(3S), intro(3), Intro(3S), lseek(2), popen(3S), ungetc(3S), write(2)


Although on the UNIX system an offset returned by ftell is measured in bytes, and it is permissible to seek to positions relative to that offset, portability to non-UNIX systems requires that an offset be used by fseek directly. Arithmetic may not meaningfully be performed on such an offset, which is not necessarily measured in bytes.
© 2004 The SCO Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 25 April 2004