dirfd - Man Page

get directory stream file descriptor


Standard C library (libc, -lc)


#include <sys/types.h>
#include <dirent.h>

int dirfd(DIR *dirp);

Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):


    /* Since glibc 2.10: */ _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
        || /* Glibc <= 2.19: */ _BSD_SOURCE || _SVID_SOURCE


The function dirfd() returns the file descriptor associated with the directory stream dirp.

This file descriptor is the one used internally by the directory stream. As a result, it is useful only for functions which do not depend on or alter the file position, such as fstat(2) and fchdir(2). It will be automatically closed when closedir(3) is called.

Return Value

On success, dirfd() returns a file descriptor (a nonnegative integer). On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set to indicate the error.


POSIX.1-2008 specifies two errors, neither of which is returned by the current implementation.


dirp does not refer to a valid directory stream.


The implementation does not support the association of a file descriptor with a directory.


For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

dirfd()Thread safetyMT-Safe


POSIX.1-2008. This function was a BSD extension, present in 4.3BSD-Reno, not in 4.2BSD.

See Also

open(2), openat(2), closedir(3), opendir(3), readdir(3), rewinddir(3), scandir(3), seekdir(3), telldir(3)

Referenced By

open(2), opendir(3), perl5220delta(1), perlapi(1), perlfunc(1), readdir(3).

2022-10-09 Linux man-pages 6.01