close - close a file descriptor


   #include <unistd.h>

   int close(int fd);


   close()  closes  a  file descriptor, so that it no longer refers to any
   file and may be reused.  Any record locks (see fcntl(2))  held  on  the
   file  it  was  associated  with,  and owned by the process, are removed
   (regardless of the file descriptor that was used to obtain the lock).

   If fd is the last file descriptor referring to the underlying open file
   description  (see open(2)), the resources associated with the open file
   description are freed; if the file descriptor was the last reference to
   a file which has been removed using unlink(2), the file is deleted.


   close()  returns  zero on success.  On error, -1 is returned, and errno
   is set appropriately.


   EBADF  fd isn't a valid open file descriptor.

   EINTR  The close() call was interrupted by a signal; see signal(7).

   EIO    An I/O error occurred.

   See NOTES for a discussion of why close() should not be  retried  after
   an error.


   POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, SVr4, 4.3BSD.


   A   successful  close  does  not  guarantee  that  the  data  has  been
   successfully saved to disk, as the kernel  uses  the  buffer  cache  to
   defer  writes.  Typically, filesystems do not flush buffers when a file
   is closed.  If you need to be sure that the data is  physically  stored
   on  the  underlying  disk,  use  fsync(2).  (It will depend on the disk
   hardware at this point.)

   The close-on-exec file descriptor flag can be used  to  ensure  that  a
   file  descriptor  is  automatically closed upon a successful execve(2);
   see fcntl(2) for details.

   It is probably unwise to close file descriptors while they  may  be  in
   use by system calls in other threads in the same process.  Since a file
   descriptor may be reused, there are some obscure race  conditions  that
   may cause unintended side effects.

   Dealing with error returns from close()
   A  careful  programmer will check the return value of close(), since it
   is quite possible that errors on  a  previous  write(2)  operation  are
   reported  only  on  the  final  close()  that  releases  the  open file
   description.  Failing to check the return value when closing a file may
   lead  to silent loss of data.  This can especially be observed with NFS
   and with disk quota.

   Note, however, that a failure return should be used only for diagnostic
   purposes  (i.e.,  a  warning to the application that there may still be
   I/O pending or there may have been failed  I/O)  or  remedial  purposes
   (e.g., writing the file once more or creating a backup).

   Retrying  the  close() after a failure return is the wrong thing to do,
   since this may cause a reused file descriptor from another thread to be
   closed.   This  can  occur because the Linux kernel always releases the
   file descriptor early in the close operation, freeing it for reuse; the
   steps that may return an error, such as flushing data to the filesystem
   or device, occur only later in the close operation.

   Many other implementations similarly always close the  file  descriptor
   (except  in  the  case  of  EBADF, meaning that the file descriptor was
   invalid) even if they subsequently  report  an  error  on  return  from
   close().   POSIX.1  is  currently  silent  on this point, but there are
   plans to mandate this  behavior  in  the  next  major  release  of  the

   A  careful  programmer  who  wants to know about I/O errors may precede
   close() with a call to fsync(2).

   The EINTR error is a somewhat special case.  Regarding the EINTR error,
   POSIX.1-2013 says:

          If  close()  is interrupted by a signal that is to be caught, it
          shall return -1 with errno set to EINTR and the state of  fildes
          is unspecified.

   This  permits  the  behavior  that  occurs  on  Linux  and  many  other
   implementations, where, as with other errors that may  be  reported  by
   close(),  the  file descriptor is guaranteed to be closed.  However, it
   also permits another possibility: that the  implementation  returns  an
   EINTR  error  and  keeps  the  file descriptor open.  (According to its
   documentation, HP-UX's close() does this.)  The caller must  then  once
   more use close() to close the file descriptor, to avoid file descriptor
   leaks.   This  divergence  in  implementation  behaviors   provides   a
   difficult   hurdle   for   portable   applications,   since   on   many
   implementations, close() must not be called again after an EINTR error,
   and  on at least one, close() must be called again.  There are plans to
   address this conundrum for  the  next  major  release  of  the  POSIX.1


   fcntl(2), fsync(2), open(2), shutdown(2), unlink(2), fclose(3)


   This  page  is  part of release 4.09 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
   description of the project, information about reporting bugs,  and  the
   latest     version     of     this    page,    can    be    found    at


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