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13.5.1 Linked Channels

Channels that come from a single opening share the same file position; we call them linked channels. Linked channels result when you make a stream from a descriptor using fdopen, when you get a descriptor from a stream with fileno, when you copy a descriptor with dup or dup2, and when descriptors are inherited during fork. For files that don’t support random access, such as terminals and pipes, all channels are effectively linked. On random-access files, all append-type output streams are effectively linked to each other.

If you have been using a stream for I/O (or have just opened the stream), and you want to do I/O using another channel (either a stream or a descriptor) that is linked to it, you must first clean up the stream that you have been using. See Cleaning Streams.

Terminating a process, or executing a new program in the process, destroys all the streams in the process. If descriptors linked to these streams persist in other processes, their file positions become undefined as a result. To prevent this, you must clean up the streams before destroying them.