Chris Bunch Chris Bunch - 20 days ago 4
C Question

Easiest way to get file's contents in C

What is the simplest way (least error-prone, least lines of code, however you want to interpret it) to open a file in C and read its contents into a string (char*, char[], whatever)?


I tend to just load the entire buffer as a raw memory chunk into memory and do the parsing on my own. That way I have best control over what the standard lib does on multiple platforms.

This is a stub I use for this. you may also want to check the error-codes for fseek, ftell and fread. (omitted for clarity).

char * buffer = 0;
long length;
FILE * f = fopen (filename, "rb");

if (f)
  fseek (f, 0, SEEK_END);
  length = ftell (f);
  fseek (f, 0, SEEK_SET);
  buffer = malloc (length);
  if (buffer)
    fread (buffer, 1, length, f);
  fclose (f);

if (buffer)
  // start to process your data / extract strings here...