FreeBSD 7.0 manual page repository

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close - delete a descriptor



      close - delete a descriptor


      Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


      #include <unistd.h>
      close(int d);


      The close() system call deletes a descriptor from the per-process object
      reference table.  If this is the last reference to the underlying object,
      the object will be deactivated.  For example, on the last close of a file
      the current seek pointer associated with the file is lost; on the last
      close of a socket(2) associated naming information and queued data are
      discarded; on the last close of a file holding an advisory lock the lock
      is released (see further flock(2)).  However, the semantics of System V
      and IEEE Std 1003.1-1988 (“POSIX.1”) dictate that all fcntl(2) advisory
      record locks associated with a file for a given process are removed when
      any file descriptor for that file is closed by that process.
      When a process exits, all associated file descriptors are freed, but
      since there is a limit on active descriptors per processes, the close()
      system call is useful when a large quantity of file descriptors are being
      When a process forks (see fork(2)), all descriptors for the new child
      process reference the same objects as they did in the parent before the
      fork.  If a new process is then to be run using execve(2), the process
      would normally inherit these descriptors.  Most of the descriptors can be
      rearranged with dup2(2) or deleted with close() before the execve(2) is
      attempted, but if some of these descriptors will still be needed if the
      execve fails, it is necessary to arrange for them to be closed if the
      execve succeeds.  For this reason, the call “fcntl(d, F_SETFD,
      FD_CLOEXEC)” is provided, which arranges that a descriptor will be closed
      after a successful execve; the call “fcntl(d, F_SETFD, 0)” restores the
      default, which is to not close the descriptor.
      The close() function returns the value 0 if successful; otherwise the
      value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the


      The close() system call will fail if:
      [EBADF]            The d argument is not an active descriptor.
      [EINTR]            An interrupt was received.
      [ENOSPC]           The underlying object did not fit, cached data was
      [ECONNRESET]       The underlying object was a stream socket that was
                         shut down by the peer before all pending data was
      accept(2), execve(2), fcntl(2), flock(2), open(2), pipe(2), socket(2),


      The close() system call is expected to conform to ISO/IEC 9945-1:1990


      The close() function appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.


Based on BSD UNIX
FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including Pentium and Athlon), amd64 compatible (including Opteron, Athlon64, and EM64T), UltraSPARC, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.