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Unix™ Systems Programming: Communication, Concurrency, and Threads by Steven Robbins, Kay A. Robbins

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Chapter 4. UNIX I/O

UNIX uses a uniform device interface, through file descriptors, that allows the same I/O calls to be used for terminals, disks, tapes, audio and even network communication. This chapter explores the five functions that form the basis for UNIX device-independent I/O. The chapter also examines I/O from multiple sources, blocking I/O with timeouts, inheritance of file descriptors and redirection. The code carefully handles errors and interruption by signals.

Device Terminology

A peripheral device is piece of hardware accessed by a computer ...

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