COPYFILE(3) Library Functions Manual COPYFILE(3)

copyfile, fcopyfile, copyfile_state_alloc, copyfile_state_free, copyfile_state_get, copyfile_state_setcopy a file

Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

#include <copyfile.h>

int
copyfile(const char *from, const char *to, copyfile_state_t state, copyfile_flags_t flags);

int
fcopyfile(int from, int to, copyfile_state_t state, copyfile_flags_t flags);

copyfile_state_t
copyfile_state_alloc(void);

int
copyfile_state_free(copyfile_state_t state);

int
copyfile_state_get(copyfile_state_t state, uint32_t flag, void * dst);

int
copyfile_state_set(copyfile_state_t state, uint32_t flag, const void * src);

typedef int
(*copyfile_callback_t)(int what, int stage, copyfile_state_t state, const char * src, const char * dst, void * ctx);

These functions are used to copy a file's data and/or metadata. (Metadata consists of permissions, extended attributes, access control lists, and so forth.)

The () function initializes a copyfile_state_t object (which is an opaque data type). This object can be passed to copyfile() and fcopyfile(); copyfile_state_get() and copyfile_state_set() can be used to manipulate the state (see below). The () function is used to deallocate the object and its contents.

The () function can copy the named from file to the named to file; the fcopyfile() function does the same, but using the file descriptors of already-opened files. If the state parameter is the return value from copyfile_state_alloc(), then copyfile() and fcopyfile() will use the information from the state object; if it is NULL, then both functions will work normally, but less control will be available to the caller. The flags parameter controls which contents are copied:

Copy the source file's access control lists.
Copy the source file's POSIX information (mode, modification time, etc.).
Copy the source file's extended attributes.
Copy the source file's data.

These values may be or'd together; several convenience macros are provided:

Copy the source file's POSIX and ACL information; equivalent to (COPYFILE_STAT|COPYFILE_ACL).
Copy the metadata; equivalent to (COPYFILE_SECURITY|COPYFILE_XATTR).
Copy the entire file; equivalent to (COPYFILE_METADATA|COPYFILE_DATA).

The () and fcopyfile() functions can also have their behavior modified by the following flags:

Causes copyfile() to recursively copy a hierarchy. This flag is not used by fcopyfile(); see below for more information.
Return a bitmask (corresponding to the flags argument) indicating which contents would be copied; no data are actually copied. (E.g., if flags was set to COPYFILE_CHECK|COPYFILE_METADATA, and the from file had extended attributes but no ACLs, the return value would be COPYFILE_XATTR .)
Serialize the from file. The to file is an AppleDouble-format file.
Unserialize the from file. The from file is an AppleDouble-format file; the to file will have the extended attributes, ACLs, resource fork, and FinderInfo data from the to file, regardless of the flags argument passed in.
Fail if the to file already exists. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.)
Do not follow the from file, if it is a symbolic link. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.)
Do not follow the to file, if it is a symbolic link. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.)
Unlink (using remove(3)) the from file. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.) No error is returned if remove(3) fails. Note that remove(3) removes a symbolic link itself, not the target of the link.
Unlink the to file before starting. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.)
Clone the file instead. This is a force flag i.e. if cloning fails, an error is returned. This flag is equivalent to (COPYFILE_EXCL | COPYFILE_ACL | COPYFILE_STAT | COPYFILE_XATTR | COPYFILE_DATA | COPYFILE_NOFOLLOW_SRC). Note that if cloning is successful, progress callbacks will not be invoked. Note also that there is no support for cloning directories: if a directory is provided as the source, an error will be returned. Since this flag implies COPYFILE_NOFOLLOW_SRC, symbolic links themselves will be cloned instead of their targets. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.)
Try to clone the file instead. This is a best try flag i.e. if cloning fails, fallback to copying the file. This flag is equivalent to (COPYFILE_EXCL | COPYFILE_ACL | COPYFILE_STAT | COPYFILE_XATTR | COPYFILE_DATA | COPYFILE_NOFOLLOW_SRC). Note that if cloning is successful, progress callbacks will not be invoked. Note also that there is no support for cloning directories: if a directory is provided as the source and COPYFILE_CLONE_FORCE is not passed, this will instead copy the directory. Since this flag implies COPYFILE_NOFOLLOW_SRC, symbolic links themselves will be cloned instead of their targets. Recursive copying however is supported, see below for more information. (This is only applicable for the copyfile() function.)
Copy a file sparsely. This requires that the source and destination file systems support sparse files with hole sizes at least as large as their block sizes. This also requires that the source file is sparse, and for fcopyfile() the source file descriptor's offset be a multiple of the minimum hole size. If COPYFILE_DATA is also specified, this will fall back to a full copy if sparse copying cannot be performed for any reason; otherwise, an error is returned.
This is a convenience macro, equivalent to (COPYFILE_NOFOLLOW_DST | .
If the src file has quarantine information, add the QTN_FLAG_DO_NOT_TRANSLOCATE flag to the quarantine information of the dst file. This allows a bundle to run in place instead of being translocated.
Preserve the UF_TRACKED flag at to when copying metadata, regardless of whether from has it set. This flag is used in conjunction with COPYFILE_STAT, or COPYFILE_CLONE (for its fallback case).

Copying files into a directory is supported. If to is a directory, from will be copied into to (if from is a directory, copying its contents requires use of the COPYFILE_RECURSIVE parameter, which is documented below).

The () and () functions can be used to manipulate the copyfile_state_t object returned by copyfile_state_alloc(). In both functions, the dst parameter's type depends on the flag parameter that is passed in.

 
Get or set the file descriptor associated with the source (or destination) file. If this has not been initialized yet, the value will be -2. The dst (for copyfile_state_get()) and src (for copyfile_state_set()) parameters are pointers to int.
 
Get or set the filename associated with the source (or destination) file. If it has not been initialized yet, the value will be NULL. For copyfile_state_set(), the src parameter is a pointer to a C string (i.e., char* ); copyfile_state_set() makes a private copy of this string. For copyfile_state_get() function, the dst parameter is a pointer to a pointer to a C string (i.e., char** ); the returned value is a pointer to the state 's copy, and must not be modified or released.
Get or set the callback status function (currently only used for recursive copies; see below for details). The src parameter is a pointer to a function of type copyfile_callback_t (see above).
Get or set the context parameter for the status call-back function (see below for details). The src parameter is a void *.
Get or set the quarantine information with the source file. The src parameter is a pointer to an opaque object (type void * ).
Get the number of data bytes copied so far. (Only valid for copyfile_state_get(); see below for more details about callbacks.) If a COPYFILE_CLONE or COPYFILE_CLONE_FORCE operation successfully cloned the requested objects, then this value will be 0. The dst parameter is a pointer to off_t (type off_t * ).
Get the name of the extended attribute during a callback for COPYFILE_COPY_XATTR (see below for details). This field cannot be set, and may be NULL.
True if a COPYFILE_CLONE or COPYFILE_CLONE_FORCE operation successfully cloned the requested objects. The dst parameter is a pointer to bool (type bool * ).
 
 
Get or set the copy blocksize associated with the source or destination file (or both). The caller must ensure that its environment does not restrict a memory allocation of this size. If the copy blocksize for the destination file is specified to be larger than the copy blocksize for the source file, it will be ignored. If this has not been initialized by the caller, the value will be 0. The dst parameter and the src parameter are pointers to uint32_t (type uint32_t * ).

When given the COPYFILE_RECURSIVE flag, copyfile() (but not fcopyfile()) will use the fts(3) functions to recursively descend into the source file-system object. It then calls copyfile() on each of the entries it finds that way. If a call-back function is given (using copyfile_state_set() and COPYFILE_STATE_STATUS_CB ), the call-back function will be called four times for each directory object, and twice for all other objects. (Each directory will be examined twice, once on entry -- before copying each of the objects contained in the directory -- and once on exit -- after copying each object contained in the directory, in order to perform some final cleanup.)

The call-back function will have one of the following values as the first argument, indicating what is being copied:

The object being copied is a file (or, rather, something other than a directory).
The object being copied is a directory, and is being entered. (That is, none of the filesystem objects contained within the directory have been copied yet.)
The object being copied is a directory, and all of the objects contained have been copied. At this stage, the destination directory being copied will have any extra permissions that were added to allow the copying will be removed (by a final COPYFILE_STAT operation - note that this occurs even if the COPYFILE_STAT flag was not passed to the recursive copy).
There was an error in processing an element of the source hierarchy; this happens when fts(3) returns an error or unknown file type. (Currently, the second argument to the call-back function will always be COPYFILE_ERR in this case.)

The second argument to the call-back function will indicate the stage of the copy, and will be one of the following values:

Before copying has begun. The third parameter will be a newly-created copyfile_state_t object with the call-back function and context pre-loaded.
After copying has successfully finished.
Indicates an error has happened at some stage. If the first argument to the call-back function is COPYFILE_RECURSE_ERROR, then an error occurred while processing the source hierarchy; otherwise, it will indicate what type of object was being copied, and errno will be set to indicate the error.

The fourth and fifth parameters are the source and destination paths that are to be copied (or have been copied, or failed to copy, depending on the second argument).

The last argument to the call-back function will be the value set by COPYFILE_STATE_STATUS_CTX, if any.

The call-back function is required to return one of the following values:

The copy will continue as expected.
This object will be skipped, and the next object will be processed. (Note that, when entering a directory, returning COPYFILE_SKIP from the call-back function will prevent the contents of the directory from being copied.)
The entire copy is aborted at this stage. Any filesystem objects created up to this point will remain. () will return -1, but errno will be unmodified.

The call-back function must always return one of the values listed above; if not, the results are undefined.

The call-back function will be called twice for each object (and an additional two times for directory cleanup); the first call will have a stage parameter of COPYFILE_START; the second time, that value will be either COPYFILE_FINISH or COPYFILE_ERR to indicate a successful completion, or an error during processing. In the event of an error, the errno value will be set appropriately.

Note that recursive cloning is also supported with the COPYFILE_CLONE flag (but not the COPYFILE_CLONE_FORCE flag). A recursive clone operation invokes () with COPYFILE_CLONE on every entry found in the source file-system object. Because copyfile() does not allow the cloning of directories, a recursive clone will instead copy any directory it finds (while cloning its contents). As symbolic links may point to directories, they are not followed during recursive clones even if the source is a symbolic link. Additionally, because the COPYFILE_CLONE flag implies the COPYFILE_EXCL flag, recursive clones require a nonexistent destination.

The COPYFILE_PACK, COPYFILE_UNPACK, COPYFILE_MOVE, and COPYFILE_UNLINK flags are not used during a recursive copy, and will result in an error being returned.

Note that if the source path ends in a / its contents are copied rather than the directory itself (like cp(1)). The behavior of a recursive copy on a directory hierarchy also depends on the contents of the destination. If the destination is a directory, the source directory (or its contents, if the source path ends in a / ) will be copied into it. If the destination exists but is not a directory, and the source is a non-empty directory, the copy will fail; the exact error set depends on the flags provided to () initially.

In addition to the recursive callbacks described above, copyfile() and fcopyfile() will also use a callback to report data (e.g., COPYFILE_DATA) progress. If given, the callback will be invoked on each write(2) call. The first argument to the callback function will be COPYFILE_COPY_DATA. The second argument will either be COPYFILE_PROGRESS (indicating that the write was successful), or COPYFILE_ERR (indicating that there was an error of some sort).

The amount of data bytes copied so far can be retrieved using (), with the COPYFILE_STATE_COPIED requestor (the argument type is a pointer to off_t ).

When copying extended attributes, the first argument to the callback function will be COPYFILE_COPY_XATTR. The other arguments will be as described for COPYFILE_COPY_DATA; the name of the extended attribute being copied may be retrieved using () and the parameter COPYFILE_STATE_XATTRNAME. When using COPYFILE_PACK, the callback may be called with COPYFILE_START for each of the extended attributes first, followed by COPYFILE_PROGRESS before getting and packing the data for each individual attribute, and then COPYFILE_FINISH when finished with each individual attribute. (That is, COPYFILE_START may be called for all of the extended attributes, before the first callback with COPYFILE_PROGRESS is invoked.) Any attribute skipped by returning COPYFILE_SKIP from the COPYFILE_START callback will not be placed into the packed output file.

The return value for the data callback must be one of

The copy will continue as expected. (In the case of error, it will attempt to write the data again.)
The data copy will be aborted, but without error.
The data copy will be aborted; in the case of COPYFILE_PROGRESS, errno will be set to ECANCELED.

While the src and dst parameters will be passed in, they may be NULL in the case of ().

Note that progress callbacks are not invoked when a clone is requested (e.g. COPYFILE_CLONE) unless the clone cannot be performed and a copy is performed instead.

Except when given the COPYFILE_CHECK flag, copyfile() and fcopyfile() return less than 0 on error, and 0 on success. All of the other functions return 0 on success, and less than 0 on error.

Both () and fcopyfile() can copy symbolic links; there is a gap between when the source link is examined and the actual copy is started, and this can be a potential security risk, especially if the process has elevated privileges.

When performing a recursive copy, if the source hierarchy changes while the copy is occurring, the results are undefined.

() does not reset the seek position for either source or destination. This can result in the destination file being a different size than the source file.

Both () and fcopyfile() will temporarily mark an unwritable destination writable for the duration of the copy. After the copy is performed (except when the COPYFILE_STAT flag is passed in), an attempt is made to revert the destination's permissions to their starting state.

/* Initialize a state variable */
copyfile_state_t s;
s = copyfile_state_alloc();
/* Copy the data and extended attributes of one file to another */
copyfile("/tmp/f1", "/tmp/f2", s, COPYFILE_DATA | COPYFILE_XATTR);
/* Convert a file to an AppleDouble file for serialization */
copyfile("/tmp/f2", "/tmp/tmpfile", NULL, COPYFILE_ALL | COPYFILE_PACK);
/* Release the state variable */
copyfile_state_free(s);
/* A more complex way to call copyfile() */
s = copyfile_state_alloc();
copyfile_state_set(s, COPYFILE_STATE_SRC_FILENAME, "/tmp/foo");
/* One of src or dst must be set... rest can come from the state */
copyfile(NULL, "/tmp/bar", s, COPYFILE_ALL);
/* Now copy the same source file to another destination file */
copyfile(NULL, "/tmp/car", s, COPYFILE_ALL);
copyfile_state_free(s);
/* Remove extended attributes from a file */
copyfile("/dev/null", "/tmp/bar", NULL, COPYFILE_XATTR);

copyfile() and fcopyfile() will fail if:

[]
An invalid flag was passed in with COPYFILE_RECURSIVE.
[]
The from or to parameter to copyfile() was a NULL pointer.
[]
The from or to parameter to fcopyfile() was a negative number.
[]
A memory allocation failed.
[]
The source file was not a directory, symbolic link, or regular file.
[]
COPYFILE_CLONE_FORCE was specified and file cloning is not supported.
[]
COPYFILE_DATA_SPARSE was specified, sparse copying is not supported, and COPYFILE_DATA was not specified.
[]
The copy was cancelled by callback.
[]
The to parameter to copyfile() already existed and was passed in with COPYFILE_EXCL.
[]
The from parameter to copyfile() did not exist.
[]
Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix for the from or to parameters.
[]
Write permission is denied for a component of the path prefix for the to parameter.

In addition, both functions may set errno via an underlying library or system call.

getxattr(2), listxattr(2), setxattr(2), acl(3)

The copyfile() API was introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.

Recursive copies do not honor hard links.

May 19, 2021 Mac OS X 12