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Old 11-07-2002, 10:20 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: Slackware8.1
Posts: 332

Rep: Reputation: 30
C flush() question ......

Hi there. I was just wondering why I have to flush stdin when doing fopen type operations in C. I am just learning how to write to disk using fopen and my book has me flush stdin between scanning for input for the file write and a filename for the file. Just basically wondering how come I don't have to ( or have not been told to) flush stdin in just plain old user input that doesn't write to disk such as >

printf ("Please enter your name: ");
scanf("%s", name );

Why wouldn't I have have to flush stdin here?

puts ("Enter your age");
scanf("%d", &age);
as opposed to when I will be writing to a file using fopen() ...

puts("Enter an integer to save to disk");
scanf("%d", &number);

clear_kb(); /* little flushing function */

puts("Please enter a filename for the file");
scanf("%s", filename);

void clear_kb(void)
char junk[80];

Old 11-07-2002, 12:40 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2001
Location: London, England
Distribution: Gentoo, FreeBSD
Posts: 590

Rep: Reputation: 30
Not really answering your question here, but you don't need to write your own flushing function. Use fflush(FILE *stream)

Old 11-07-2002, 05:39 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Canada
Distribution: Redhat 9.0
Posts: 637

Rep: Reputation: 30
Run this code:


int main()
  char fname[256];
  printf("Enter your first name: ");
  scanf("%s", fname);
  printf("%s", fname);

  return 0;
You should be able to see from this that scanf leaves the newline character in the standard input buffer, instead of attaching it to the end of your name when you enter your name and press 'return'. That newline character, still inside the standard input buffer, will mess up subsequent calls to scanf, so it has to be cleared out of there. Not all I/O functions do this, for example try this code:

int main()
  char fname[256];
  printf("Enter your first name: ");
  printf("%s", fname);

  return 0;
Notice the different output? This demonstrates that fgets does not leave the newline character in the standard input buffer.

This is how you might go about flushing the standard input buffer, note fflush(stdin) is undefined!

int main()
  char fname[256];
  char lname[256];
  printf("Enter your first name: ");
  scanf("%s", fname);
  while(getchar() != '\n') continue; //clear input buffer
  printf("Enter your last name: ");
  while(getchar() != '\n') continue;

  printf("Your name is %s %s\n.", fname, lname);
  return 0;
Old 11-15-2002, 09:27 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Republic Of China
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
flush() is not in standard C.
you can do it: gcc -o filename filename.c -lm


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