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 Daemon guarantees packet delivery, filters subject-addressed messages, dispatches messages to application processes, and shields application programmers from operating system idiosyncrasies, such as low-level sockets and file descriptor limits.
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.