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Started by Ricky NelsonAug 26, 2021

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What happens to an open file handle on Linux if the pointed file gets moved or deleted?

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What happens to an open file handle on Linux if the pointed file meanwhile gets:

  • Moved away -> Does the file handle stay valid?
  • Deleted -> Does this lead to an EBADF, indicating an invalid file handle?
  • Replaced by a new file -> Does the file handle pointing to this new file?
  • Replaced by a hard link to a new file -> Does my file handle "follow" this link?
  • Replaced by a soft link to a new file -> Does my file handle hit this soft link file now?

Why I'm asking such questions: I'm using hot-plugged hardware (such as USB devices etc.). It can happen, that the device (and also its /dev/file) gets reattached by the user or another Gremlin.

What's the best practice dealing with this?

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