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Besides the fact that fflush is a high-level function using FILE * and fsync is a low-level function using an int file descriptor, fflush is ANSI C and fsync is a unistd function (POSIX but not ANSI). If you want a platform independent program, avoid fsync, however, if you are using devices, fsync will send the data to the devices whereas fflush relies on C Library (libc).