You can use
fflush to clean a stream in most
You can skip the
fflush if you know the stream
is already clean. A stream is clean whenever its buffer is empty. For
example, an unbuffered stream is always clean. An input stream that is
at end-of-file is clean. A line-buffered stream is clean when the last
character output was a newline. However, a just-opened input stream
might not be clean, as its input buffer might not be empty.
There is one case in which cleaning a stream is impossible on most
systems. This is when the stream is doing input from a file that is not
random-access. Such streams typically read ahead, and when the file is
not random access, there is no way to give back the excess data already
read. When an input stream reads from a random-access file,
fflush does clean the stream, but leaves the file pointer at an
unpredictable place; you must set the file pointer before doing any
Closing an output-only stream also does
fflush, so this is a
valid way of cleaning an output stream.
You need not clean a stream before using its descriptor for control operations such as setting terminal modes; these operations don't affect the file position and are not affected by it. You can use any descriptor for these operations, and all channels are affected simultaneously. However, text already “output” to a stream but still buffered by the stream will be subject to the new terminal modes when subsequently flushed. To make sure “past” output is covered by the terminal settings that were in effect at the time, flush the output streams for that terminal before setting the modes. See Terminal Modes.