Is there any reason (other than syntactic ones) that you'd want to use

FILE *fdopen(int fd, const char *mode);


FILE *fopen(const char *path, const char *mode);

instead of

int open(const char *pathname, int flags, mode_t mode);

when using C in a Linux environment?

Solution 1

First, there is no particularly good reason to use fdopen if fopen is an option and open is the other possible choice. You shouldn't have used open to open the file in the first place if you want a FILE *. So including fdopen in that list is incorrect and confusing because it isn't very much like the others. I will now proceed to ignore it because the important distinction here is between a C standard FILE * and an OS-specific file descriptor.

There are four main reasons to use fopen instead of open.

  1. fopen provides you with buffering IO that may turn out to be a lot faster than what you're doing with open.
  2. fopen does line ending translation if the file is not opened in binary mode, which can be very helpful if your program is ever ported to a non-Unix environment (though the world appears to be converging on LF-only (except IETF text-based networking protocols like SMTP and HTTP and such)).
  3. A FILE * gives you the ability to use fscanf and other stdio functions.
  4. Your code may someday need to be ported to some other platform that only supports ANSI C and does not support the open function.

In my opinion the line ending translation more often gets in your way than helps you, and the parsing of fscanf is so weak that you inevitably end up tossing it out in favor of something more useful.

And most platforms that support C have an open function.

That leaves the buffering question. In places where you are mainly reading or writing a file sequentially, the buffering support is really helpful and a big speed improvement. But it can lead to some interesting problems in which data does not end up in the file when you expect it to be there. You have to remember to fclose or fflush at the appropriate times.

If you're doing seeks (aka fsetpos or fseek the second of which is slightly trickier to use in a standards compliant way), the usefulness of buffering quickly goes down.

Of course, my bias is that I tend to work with sockets a whole lot, and there the fact that you really want to be doing non-blocking IO (which FILE * totally fails to support in any reasonable way) with no buffering at all and often have complex parsing requirements really color my perceptions.

Solution 2

open() is a low-level os call. fdopen() converts an os-level file descriptor to the higher-level FILE-abstraction of the C language. fopen() calls open() in the background and gives you a FILE-pointer directly.

There are several advantages to using FILE-objects rather raw file descriptors, which includes greater ease of usage but also other technical advantages such as built-in buffering. Especially the buffering generally results in a sizeable performance advantage.

Solution 3

fopen vs open in C

1) fopen is a library function while open is a system call.

2) fopen provides buffered IO which is faster compare to open which is non buffered.

3) fopen is portable while open not portable (open is environment specific).

4) fopen returns a pointer to a FILE structure(FILE *); open returns an integer that identifies the file.

5) A FILE * gives you the ability to use fscanf and other stdio functions.

Solution 4

Unless you're part of the 0.1% of applications where using open is an actual performance benefit, there really is no good reason not to use fopen. As far as fdopen is concerned, if you aren't playing with file descriptors, you don't need that call.

Stick with fopen and its family of methods (fwrite, fread, fprintf, et al) and you'll be very satisfied. Just as importantly, other programmers will be satisfied with your code.

Solution 5

If you have a FILE *, you can use functions like fscanf, fprintf and fgets etc. If you have just the file descriptor, you have limited (but likely faster) input and output routines read, write etc.

Solution 6

open() is a system call and specific to Unix-based systems and it returns a file descriptor. You can write to a file descriptor using write() which is another system call.
fopen() is an ANSI C function call which returns a file pointer and it is portable to other OSes. We can write to a file pointer using fprintf.

In Unix:
You can get a file pointer from the file descriptor using:

fP = fdopen(fD, "a");

You can get a file descriptor from the file pointer using:

fD = fileno (fP);

Solution 7

Using open, read, write means you have to worry about signal interaptions.

If the call was interrupted by a signal handler the functions will return -1 and set errno to EINTR.

So the proper way to close a file would be

while (retval = close(fd), retval == -1 && ernno == EINTR) ;

Solution 8

I changed to open() from fopen() for my application, because fopen was causing double reads every time I ran fopen fgetc . Double reads were disruptive of what I was trying to accomplish. open() just seems to do what you ask of it.

Solution 9

open() will be called at the end of each of the fopen() family functions. open() is a system call and fopen() are provided by libraries as a wrapper functions for user easy of use

Solution 10

Depends also on what flags are required to open. With respect to usage for writing and reading (and portability) f* should be used, as argued above.

But if basically want to specify more than standard flags (like rw and append flags), you will have to use a platform specific API (like POSIX open) or a library that abstracts these details. The C-standard does not have any such flags.

For example you might want to open a file, only if it exits. If you don't specify the create flag the file must exist. If you add exclusive to create, it will only create the file if it does not exist. There are many more.

For example on Linux systems there is a LED interface exposed through sysfs. It exposes the brightness of the led through a file. Writing or reading a number as a string ranging from 0-255. Of course you don't want to create that file and only write to it if it exists. The cool thing now: Use fdopen to read/write this file using the standard calls.

Solution 11

opening a file using fopen
before we can read(or write) information from (to) a file on a disk we must open the file. to open the file we have called the function fopen.

1.firstly it searches on the disk the file to be opened.
2.then it loads the file from the disk into a place in memory called buffer. sets up a character pointer that points to the first character of the buffer.

this the way of behaviour of fopen function
there are some causes while buffering process,it may timedout. so while comparing fopen(high level i/o) to open (low level i/o) system call , and it is a faster more appropriate than fopen.