file descriptor


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file descriptor

(programming, operating system)
An integer that identifies an open file within a process. This number is obtained as a result of opening a file. Operations which read, write, or close a file would take the file descriptor as an input parameter.

In many operating system implementations, file descriptors are small integers which index a table of open files. In Unix, file descriptors 0, 1 and 2 correspond to the standard input, standard output and standard error files respectively.

See file descriptor leak.
References in periodicals archive ?
Considering the motivating scenario, the XML file descriptor that contains aspects for the original Web Service would be like this (Figure 6):
There are four different types of uses for fixed-size blocks in this data structure: user data, directory entries, file descriptors, and indirect pointers.
That is, an IOL_read operation yields data that either reflect all or none of the changes resulting :from a concurrent IOL_write operation on the same file descriptor.
So the otherwise attractive mapping of LIS file descriptor to C integer has the effect of only approximating the notion of permitting an unlimited number of open files.
The display routine takes as arguments the file descriptors for the MARC input and associator files, the MARC record number, format, display number, a pointer to the print function being used, and the maximum length of lines to be output.