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The GNU C Library

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13. Low-Level Input/Output

This chapter describes functions for performing low-level input/output operations on file descriptors. These functions include the primitives for the higher-level I/O functions described in 12. Input/Output on Streams, as well as functions for performing low-level control operations for which there are no equivalents on streams.

Stream-level I/O is more flexible and usually more convenient; therefore, programmers generally use the descriptor-level functions only when necessary. These are some of the usual reasons:

13.1 Opening and Closing Files  How to open and close file descriptors.
13.2 Input and Output Primitives  Reading and writing data.
13.3 Setting the File Position of a Descriptor  Setting a descriptor's file position.
13.4 Descriptors and Streams  Converting descriptor to stream or vice-versa.
13.5 Dangers of Mixing Streams and Descriptors  Precautions needed if you use both descriptors and streams.
13.6 Fast Scatter-Gather I/O  Fast I/O to discontinuous buffers.
13.7 Memory-mapped I/O  Using files like memory.
13.8 Waiting for Input or Output  How to check for input or output on multiple file descriptors.
13.9 Synchronizing I/O operations  Making sure all I/O actions completed.
13.10 Perform I/O Operations in Parallel  Perform I/O in parallel.
13.11 Control Operations on Files  Various other operations on file descriptors.
13.12 Duplicating Descriptors  Fcntl commands for duplicating file descriptors.
13.13 File Descriptor Flags  Fcntl commands for manipulating flags associated with file descriptors.
13.14 File Status Flags  Fcntl commands for manipulating flags associated with open files.
13.15 File Locks  Fcntl commands for implementing file locking.
13.16 Interrupt-Driven Input  Getting an asynchronous signal when input arrives.
13.17 Generic I/O Control operations  


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