fileno - Man Page

map a stream pointer to a file descriptor


This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.


#include <stdio.h>

int fileno(FILE *stream);


The fileno() function shall return the integer file descriptor associated with the stream pointed to by stream.

Return Value

Upon successful completion, fileno() shall return the integer value of the file descriptor associated with stream. Otherwise, the value -1 shall be returned and errno set to indicate the error.


The fileno() function shall fail if:


The stream is not associated with a file.

The fileno() function may fail if:


The file descriptor underlying stream is not a valid file descriptor.

The following sections are informative.



Application Usage



Without some specification of which file descriptors are associated with these streams, it is impossible for an application to set up the streams for another application it starts with fork() and exec. In particular, it would not be possible to write a portable version of the sh command interpreter (although there may be other constraints that would prevent that portability).

Future Directions


See Also

Section 2.5.1, Interaction of File Descriptors and Standard I/O Streams, dirfd(), fdopen(), fopen(), stdin

The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2017, <stdio.h>

Referenced By

dirfd(3p), stdin(3p), stdio.h(0p).

2017 IEEE/The Open Group POSIX Programmer's Manual