Closing all open files in a process

Tag: unix Author: wufan1992828 Date: 2009-08-06

How do I find all the open files in a process (from inside itself)?

This seems useful to know after a fork() (before exec()).

I know of the existance of getdtablesize() and the more portable sysconf(_SC_OPEN_MAX), but it seems inefficient to attempt closing every valid file descriptor, whether there's an open file behind it or not. (I am also aware of the dangers of premature optimisation, this is more about aesthetics I guess :-)

Best Answer

The existing mechanisms are platform specific. See this answer:

Other Answer1

It may sound inefficient to attempt to close all file descriptors, but it actually is not that bad. The system call implementation to lookup a file descriptor should be fairly efficient if the system is any good.

If you want to find only close the open file descriptors, you can use the proc filesystem on systems where it exists. E.g. on Linux, /proc/self/fd will list all open file descriptors. Iterate over that directory, and close everything >2, excluding the file descriptor that denotes the directory you are iterating over.

Other Answer2

If your program will be calling fork and exec, you really should open all file descriptors with the O_CLOEXEC flag so you don't have to manually close them before exec. You can also use fcntl to add this flag after a file is opened, but that's subject to race conditions in multithreaded programs.