The three types of buffering available are unbuffered, block buffered, and line buffered. When an output stream is unbuffered, information appears on the destination file or terminal as soon as written; when it is block buffered many characters are saved up and written as a block; when it is line buffered characters are saved up until a newline is output or input is read from any stream attached to a terminal device (typically stdin). The function fflush(3) may be used to force the block out early. (See fclose(3).) Normally all files are block buffered. When the first I/O operation occurs on a file, malloc(3) is called, and a buffer is obtained. If a stream refers to a terminal (as stdout normally does) it is line buffered. The standard error
stream stderr is always unbuffered by default.
You must make sure that both buf and the space it points to still exist by the time stream is closed, which also happens at program termination. For example, the following is illegal:
The function fflush forces a write of all user-space buffered data for the given output or update stream via the stream underlying write function. The open status of the stream is unaffected. If the stream argument is NULL, fflush flushes all open output streams.
Note that fflush() only flushes the user space buffers provided by the C library. To ensure that the data is physically stored on disk the kernel buffers must be flushed too, e.g. with sync(2) or fsync(2).
int fsync(int fd);
fsync copies all in-core parts of a file to disk, and waits until the device reports that all parts are on stable storage. It also updates metadata stat information. It does not necessarily ensure that the entry in the directory containing the file has also reached disk. For that an explicit fsync on the file descriptor of the directory is also needed.