FTOK(3) Linux Programmers Manual FTOK(3)
ftok - convert a pathname and a project identifier to a System V IPC
key_t ftok(const char *pathname, int proj_id);
The ftok() function uses the identity of the file named by the given
pathname (which must refer to an existing, accessible file) and the
least significant 8 bits of proj_id (which must be non-zero) to gener
ate a key_t type System V IPC key, suitable for use with msgget(2),
semget(2), or shmget(2).
The resulting value is the same for all pathnames that name the same
file, when the same value of proj_id is used. The value returned
should be different when the (simultaneously existing) files or the
project IDs differ.
On success the generated key_t value is returned. On failure -1 is
returned, with errno indicating the error as for the stat(2) system
Under libc4 and libc5 (and under SunOS 4.x) the prototype was:
key_t ftok(char *pathname, char proj_id);
Today proj_id is an int, but still only 8 bits are used. Typical usage
has an ASCII character proj_id, that is why the behavior is said to be
undefined when proj_id is zero.
Of course no guarantee can be given that the resulting key_t is unique.
Typically, a best effort attempt combines the given proj_id byte, the
lower 16 bits of the inode number, and the lower 8 bits of the device
number into a 32-bit result. Collisions may easily happen, for example
between files on /dev/hda1 and files on /dev/sda1.
msgget(2), semget(2), shmget(2), stat(2), svipc(7)
This page is part of release 3.05 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
GNU 2001-11-28 FTOK(3)