File descriptor returned by
read() attempts to read up to
count bytes from file descriptor
fd into the buffer starting at
buf. The layout of the data in the buffer is
discussed in the respective device interface section, see ##. If
count is zero,
read() returns zero and has no other results. If
count is greater than
SSIZE_MAX, the result is unspecified. Regardless
count value each
read() call will provide at most one frame (two
fields) worth of data.
read() blocks until data
becomes available. When the
O_NONBLOCK flag was
given to the
open() function it
returns immediately with an EAGAIN error code when no data is available. The
can always be used to suspend execution until data becomes available. All
drivers supporting the
read() function must also
Drivers can implement read functionality in different ways, using a single or multiple buffers and discarding the oldest or newest frames once the internal buffers are filled.
read() never returns a "snapshot" of a
buffer being filled. Using a single buffer the driver will stop
capturing when the application starts reading the buffer until the
read is finished. Thus only the period of the vertical blanking
interval is available for reading, or the capture rate must fall below
the nominal frame rate of the video standard.
The behavior of
read() when called during the active picture
period or the vertical blanking separating the top and bottom field
depends on the discarding policy. A driver discarding the oldest
frames keeps capturing into an internal buffer, continuously
overwriting the previously, not read frame, and returns the frame
being received at the time of the
read() call as
soon as it is complete.
A driver discarding the newest frames stops capturing until
read() call. The frame being received at
read() time is discarded, returning the following
frame instead. Again this implies a reduction of the capture rate to
one half or less of the nominal frame rate. An example of this model
is the video read mode of the bttv driver, initiating a DMA to user
read() is called and returning when
the DMA finished.
In the multiple buffer model drivers maintain a ring of internal buffers, automatically advancing to the next free buffer. This allows continuous capturing when the application can empty the buffers fast enough. Again, the behavior when the driver runs out of free buffers depends on the discarding policy.
Applications can get and set the number of buffers used
internally by the driver with the
ioctls. They are optional, however. The discarding policy is not
reported and cannot be changed. For minimum requirements see Chapter 4.
On success, the number of bytes read is returned. It is not
an error if this number is smaller than the number of bytes requested,
or the amount of data required for one frame. This may happen for
read() was interrupted by a
signal. On error, -1 is returned, and the
variable is set appropriately. In this case the next read will start
at the beginning of a new frame. Possible error codes are:
Non-blocking I/O has been selected using O_NONBLOCK and no data was immediately available for reading.
fd is not a valid file
descriptor or is not open for reading, or the process already has the
maximum number of files open.
The driver does not support multiple read streams and the device is already in use.
buf references an inaccessible
The call was interrupted by a signal before any data was read.
I/O error. This indicates some hardware problem or a failure to communicate with a remote device (USB camera etc.).
read() function is not
supported by this driver, not on this device, or generally not on this
type of device.