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setxattr(2)                 BSD System Calls Manual                setxattr(2)


     setxattr, fsetxattr -- set an extended attribute value


     #include <sys/xattr.h>

     setxattr(const char *path, const char *name, void *value, size_t size,
         u_int32_t position, int options);

     fsetxattr(int fd, const char *name, void *value, size_t size,
         u_int32_t position, int options);


     Extended attributes extend the basic attributes associated with files and
     directories in the file system.  They are stored as name:data pairs asso-
     ciated with file system objects (files, directories, symlinks, etc).

     setxattr() associates name and data together as an attribute of path.

     An extended attribute's name is a simple NULL-terminated UTF-8 string.
     Value is a pointer to a data buffer of size bytes containing textual or
     binary data to be associated with the extended attribute.  Position spec-
     ifies the offset within the extended attribute.  In the current implemen-
     tation, only the resource fork extended attribute makes use of this argu-
     ment.  For all others, position is reserved and should be set to zero.

     options controls how the attribute is set:

     XATTR_NOFOLLOW  do not follow symbolic links.  setxattr() normally sets
                     attributes on the target of path if it is a symbolic
                     link.  With this option, setxattr() will act on the link

     XATTR_CREATE    fail if the named attribute already exists.

     XATTR_REPLACE   fail if the named attribute does not exist.  Failure to
                     specify XATTR_REPLACE or XATTR_CREATE allows creation and

     fsetxattr() is identical to setxattr(), except that it sets an extended
     attribute on an open file referenced by file descriptor fd.


     On some filesystems, such as HFS+, setting the extended attribute will update the modification time (``mtime'') of
     the file.

     Due to historical reasons, the XATTR_FINDERINFO_NAME (defined to be
     ``'') extended attribute must be 32 bytes; see the
     ATTR_CMN_FNDRINFO section in getattrlist(2).

     The maximum supported size of extended attribute can be found out using
     pathconf(2) with _PC_XATTR_SIZE_BITS option.


     On success, 0 is returned.  On failure, -1 is returned and the global
     variable errno is set as follows.


     [EEXIST]           options contains XATTR_CREATE and the named attribute
                        already exists.

     [ENOATTR]          options is set to XATTR_REPLACE and the named
                        attribute does not exist.

     [ENOTSUP]          The file system does not support extended attributes
                        or has them disabled.

     [EROFS]            The file system is mounted read-only.

     [ERANGE]           The data size of the attribute is out of range (some
                        attributes have size restrictions).

     [EPERM]            Attributes cannot be associated with this type of
                        object.  For example, attributes are not allowed for
                        resource forks.

     [EINVAL]           name or options is invalid.  name must be valid UTF-8
                        and options must make sense.

     [ENOTDIR]          A component of path is not a directory.

     [ENAMETOOLONG]     name exceeded XATTR_MAXNAMELEN UTF-8 bytes, or a com-
                        ponent of path exceeded NAME_MAX characters, or the
                        entire path exceeded PATH_MAX characters.

     [EACCES]           Search permission is denied for a component of path or
                        permission to set the attribute is denied.

     [ELOOP]            Too many symbolic links were encountered resolving

     [EFAULT]           path or name points to an invalid address.

     [EIO]              An I/O error occurred while reading from or writing to
                        the file system.

     [E2BIG]            The data size of the extended attribute is too large.

     [ENOSPC]           Not enough space left on the file system.


     getxattr(2), listxattr(2), removexattr(2), pathconf(2)


     setxattr() and fsetxattr() first appeared in Mac OS X 10.4.

Mac OS X                         Oct 19, 2004                         Mac OS X

Mac OS X 10.9.1 - Generated Mon Jan 6 15:25:31 CST 2014
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