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7.8. Errors reported in errno

With the original interface almost any string could be accidentally given to write() and potentially (but rarely) something nasty could happen. If some error was detected then more than likely EIO was placed in errno.

Unfortunately this can still happen with write() since it can accept both the original struct sg_header or the newer sg_io_hdr_t described in this note. However since the SG_IO ioctl() will only accept the sg_io_hdr_t structure there is less chance of a random string being interpreted as a command. Since the sg_io_hdr_t interface does a lot more error checking, it attempts to give out more precise errno values to help the user pinpoint the problem. [Admittedly some of these errno values are picked in an arbitrary way from the large set of available values.]

In most cases when a system call on a sg file descriptor fails, the call in question will return -1. After an application detects that a system call has failed it should read the value in the "errno" variable (prior to do any more system calls). Applications should include the <errno.h> header.

Below is a table of errno values indicating which calls to sg will generate them and the meaning of the error. A write() call is indicated by "w", a read() call by "r" and an open() call by "o".

errno    which_calls    Meaning
-----    -----------    ----------------------------------------------
EACCES    <some ioctls> Root permission (more precisely CAP_SYS_ADMIN
                        or CAP_SYS_RAWIO) required. Also may occur during
                        an attempted write to /proc/scsi/sg files.
EAGAIN    r             The file descriptor is non-blocking and the request
                        has not been completed yet.
EAGAIN    w,SG_IO       SCSI sub-system has (temporarily) run out of 
                        command blocks.
EBADF     w             File descriptor was not open()ed O_RDWR.
EBUSY     o             Someone else has an O_EXCL lock on this device.
EBUSY     w             With mmap-ed IO, the reserved buffer already in use.
EBUSY     <some ioctls> Attempt to change something (e.g. reserved buffer
                        size) when the resource was in use.
EDOM      w,SG_IO       Too many requests queued against this file
                        descriptor. Limit is SG_MAX_QUEUE active requests.
                        If sg_header interface is being used then the
                        default queue depth is 1. Use SG_SET_COMMAND_Q
                        ioctl() to increase it.
EFAULT    w,r,SG_IO     Pointer to user space invalid.
          <most ioctls> 
EINVAL    w,r           Size given as 3rd argument not large enough for the
                        sg_io_hdr_t structure. Both direct and mmap-ed IO
EIO       w             Size given as 3rd argument less than size of old
                        header structure (sg_header). Additionally a write()
                        with the old header will yield this error for most
                        detected malformed requests.
EIO       r             A read() with the older sg_header structure yields
                        this value for some errors that it detects.
EINTR     o             While waiting for the O_EXCL lock to clear this call
                        was interrupted by a signal.
EINTR     r,SG_IO       While waiting for the request to finish this call
                        was interrupted by a signal.
EINTR     w             [Very unlikely] While waiting for an internal SCSI
                        resource this call was interrupted by a signal.
EMSGSIZE  w,SG_IO       SCSI command size ('cmd_len') was too small 
                        (i.e. < 6) or too large
ENODEV    o             Tried to open() a file with no associated device.
                        [Perhaps sg has not been built into the kernel or
                        is not available as a module?]
ENODEV    o,w,r,SG_IO   SCSI device has detached, awaiting cleanup.
                        User should close fd. Poll() will yield POLLHUP.
ENOENT    o             Given filename not found.
ENOMEM    o             [Very unlikely] Kernel was not even able to find
                        enough memory for this file descriptor's context.
ENOMEM    w,SG_IO       Kernel unable to find memory for internal buffers.
                        This is usually associated with indirect IO.
                        For mmap-ed IO 'dxfer_len' greater than reserved
                        buffer size.
                        Lower level (adapter) driver does not support enough
                        scatter gather elements for requested data transfer.
ENOSYS    w,SG_IO       'interface_id' of a sg_io_hdr_t object was _not_ 'S'.
ENXIO     o             "remove-single-device" may have removed this device.
ENXIO     o, w,r,SG_IO  Internal error (including SCSI sub-system busy doing
                        error processing - e.g. SCSI bus reset). When a
                        SCSI device is offline, this is the response. This 
                        can be bypassed by opening O_NONBLOCK.
EPERM     o             Can't use O_EXCL when open()ing with O_RDONLY
EPERM     w,SG_IO       File descriptor open()-ed O_RDONLY but O_RDWR
          <some ioctls> access mode needed for this operation.