Chris Bunch Chris Bunch - 1 month ago 8
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)?

Answer

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...
}
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