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What does the term ‘errno’ mean?


I receive an errno=2 while calling execl(…) What does this imply? How can I figure out what this errno means?

Asked by Barth

Solution #1

To retrieve a human-readable string for the error number, use strerror(). This is the same string that perror() prints, but it’s beneficial if you’re formatting the error message for a different purpose than standard error output.

For example:

#include <errno.h>
#include <string.h>

/* ... */

if(read(fd, buf, 1)==-1) {
    printf("Oh dear, something went wrong with read()! %s\n", strerror(errno));

The explicitly threadsafe form strerror r is likewise supported by Linux ().

Answered by Commodore Jaeger

Solution #2

Instead of executing perror on any error code, use the following one-liner to acquire a comprehensive list of errno values on your system:

grep ‘define E’ | sort -n -k 3 | cpp -dM /usr/include/errno.h

Answered by Josh Kelley

Solution #3

On Linux, there’s also a handy program that can tell you what each error code signifies right away. apt-get install errno on Ubuntu.

Then, for example, if you want to know what error type 2 is, type errno 2 in the terminal.

You can retrieve a list of all errors and their descriptions with errno -l. It’s a lot less difficult than the other ways given by prior posters.

Answered by Pithikos

Solution #4

The output of errno -l has been reformatted for readability:

  1   EPERM             Operation not permitted
  2   ENOENT            No such file or directory
  3   ESRCH             No such process
  4   EINTR             Interrupted system call
  5   EIO               Input/output error
  6   ENXIO             No such device or address
  7   E2BIG             Argument list too long
  8   ENOEXEC           Exec format error
  9   EBADF             Bad file descriptor
 10   ECHILD            No child processes
 11   EAGAIN            Resource temporarily unavailable
 11   EWOULDBLOCK       Resource temporarily unavailable
 12   ENOMEM            Cannot allocate memory
 13   EACCES            Permission denied
 14   EFAULT            Bad address
 15   ENOTBLK           Block device required
 16   EBUSY             Device or resource busy
 17   EEXIST            File exists
 18   EXDEV             Invalid cross-device link
 19   ENODEV            No such device
 20   ENOTDIR           Not a directory
 21   EISDIR            Is a directory
 22   EINVAL            Invalid argument
 23   ENFILE            Too many open files in system
 24   EMFILE            Too many open files
 25   ENOTTY            Inappropriate ioctl for device
 26   ETXTBSY           Text file busy
 27   EFBIG             File too large
 28   ENOSPC            No space left on device
 29   ESPIPE            Illegal seek
 30   EROFS             Read-only file system
 31   EMLINK            Too many links
 32   EPIPE             Broken pipe
 33   EDOM              Numerical argument out of domain
 34   ERANGE            Numerical result out of range
 35   EDEADLK           Resource deadlock avoided
 35   EDEADLOCK         Resource deadlock avoided
 36   ENAMETOOLONG      File name too long
 37   ENOLCK            No locks available
 38   ENOSYS            Function not implemented
 39   ENOTEMPTY         Directory not empty
 40   ELOOP             Too many levels of symbolic links
 42   ENOMSG            No message of desired type
 43   EIDRM             Identifier removed
 44   ECHRNG            Channel number out of range
 45   EL2NSYNC          Level 2 not synchronized
 46   EL3HLT            Level 3 halted
 47   EL3RST            Level 3 reset
 48   ELNRNG            Link number out of range
 49   EUNATCH           Protocol driver not attached
 50   ENOCSI            No CSI structure available
 51   EL2HLT            Level 2 halted
 52   EBADE             Invalid exchange
 53   EBADR             Invalid request descriptor
 54   EXFULL            Exchange full
 55   ENOANO            No anode
 56   EBADRQC           Invalid request code
 57   EBADSLT           Invalid slot
 59   EBFONT            Bad font file format
 60   ENOSTR            Device not a stream
 61   ENODATA           No data available
 62   ETIME             Timer expired
 63   ENOSR             Out of streams resources
 64   ENONET            Machine is not on the network
 65   ENOPKG            Package not installed
 66   EREMOTE           Object is remote
 67   ENOLINK           Link has been severed
 68   EADV              Advertise error
 69   ESRMNT            Srmount error
 70   ECOMM             Communication error on send
 71   EPROTO            Protocol error
 72   EMULTIHOP         Multihop attempted
 73   EDOTDOT           RFS specific error
 74   EBADMSG           Bad message
 75   EOVERFLOW         Value too large for defined data type
 76   ENOTUNIQ          Name not unique on network
 77   EBADFD            File descriptor in bad state
 78   EREMCHG           Remote address changed
 79   ELIBACC           Can not access a needed shared library
 80   ELIBBAD           Accessing a corrupted shared library
 81   ELIBSCN           .lib section in a.out corrupted
 82   ELIBMAX           Attempting to link in too many shared libraries
 83   ELIBEXEC          Cannot exec a shared library directly
 84   EILSEQ            Invalid or incomplete multibyte or wide character
 85   ERESTART          Interrupted system call should be restarted
 86   ESTRPIPE          Streams pipe error
 87   EUSERS            Too many users
 88   ENOTSOCK          Socket operation on non-socket
 89   EDESTADDRREQ      Destination address required
 90   EMSGSIZE          Message too long
 91   EPROTOTYPE        Protocol wrong type for socket
 92   ENOPROTOOPT       Protocol not available
 93   EPROTONOSUPPORT   Protocol not supported
 94   ESOCKTNOSUPPORT   Socket type not supported
 95   ENOTSUP           Operation not supported
 95   EOPNOTSUPP        Operation not supported
 96   EPFNOSUPPORT      Protocol family not supported
 97   EAFNOSUPPORT      Address family not supported by protocol
 98   EADDRINUSE        Address already in use
 99   EADDRNOTAVAIL     Cannot assign requested address
100   ENETDOWN          Network is down
101   ENETUNREACH       Network is unreachable
102   ENETRESET         Network dropped connection on reset
103   ECONNABORTED      Software caused connection abort
104   ECONNRESET        Connection reset by peer
105   ENOBUFS           No buffer space available
106   EISCONN           Transport endpoint is already connected
107   ENOTCONN          Transport endpoint is not connected
108   ESHUTDOWN         Cannot send after transport endpoint shutdown
109   ETOOMANYREFS      Too many references: cannot splice
110   ETIMEDOUT         Connection timed out
111   ECONNREFUSED      Connection refused
112   EHOSTDOWN         Host is down
113   EHOSTUNREACH      No route to host
114   EALREADY          Operation already in progress
115   EINPROGRESS       Operation now in progress
116   ESTALE            Stale file handle
117   EUCLEAN           Structure needs cleaning
118   ENOTNAM           Not a XENIX named type file
119   ENAVAIL           No XENIX semaphores available
120   EISNAM            Is a named type file
121   EREMOTEIO         Remote I/O error
122   EDQUOT            Disk quota exceeded
123   ENOMEDIUM         No medium found
124   EMEDIUMTYPE       Wrong medium type
125   ECANCELED         Operation canceled
126   ENOKEY            Required key not available
127   EKEYEXPIRED       Key has expired
128   EKEYREVOKED       Key has been revoked
129   EKEYREJECTED      Key was rejected by service
130   EOWNERDEAD        Owner died
131   ENOTRECOVERABLE   State not recoverable
132   ERFKILL           Operation not possible due to RF-kill
133   EHWPOISON         Memory page has hardware error

To align the columns, I used Vim’s tabularise command:

:%Tab /^[^ ]*\zs /r1l1l1
:%Tab /^ *[^ ]* *[^ ]*\zs /l1

Answered by joeytwiddle

Solution #5

“File/Directory not found” is the error code 2. In general, the perror function can be used to output a human-readable string.

Answered by schnaader

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