close - delete a descriptor
The close call deletes a descriptor from the per-process object reference table. If this
is the last reference to the underlying object, then it 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
A close of all of a process's descriptors is automatic on exit, but since there is a limit
on the number of active descriptors per process, close is necessary for programs that deal
with many descriptors.
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 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, 1)'' 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.
Upon successful completion, a value of 0 is returned. Otherwise, a value of -1 is
returned and the global integer variable errno is set to indicate the error.
Close will fail if:
[EBADF] D is not an active descriptor.
accept(2), flock(2), open(2), pipe(2), socket(2), socketpair(2), execve(2), fcntl(2)
4th Berkeley Distribution May 22, 1986 CLOSE(2)