CPSC380 Programming Assignment 1 solution




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The objective of this assignment is to familiarize yourself with the standard system calls and how to use them in a program.

Assignment: Simple File Concatenate Program

Write a C/C++ program that only uses only standard system calls to concatenate the contents of one file to another file. You should only have to use the open(), close(), read() and write() system calls. You can use printf() or fprintf() for error or informational messaging.  Your program should not explicitly prompt the user for input/output filenames but rather those should be provided on the command line.

Simple File Concatenate Program Implementation

The file concatenate program (filecat.c) is a simple text-based program that takes two arguments from the command line, again no prompting the user from within the program.


  1. To start the filecat program


./filecat <input file> <output file>

where <input file> is the file to be concatenated to <output file>. Note: that <output file> can be an empty file or a file with previous contents. To make debugging easier use ASCII readable text files only.

After your program completes you should be able to do a “cat” command on the <output file> to verify it has been concatenated. Last step is to run your program with strace to determine the number/type of system calls made.

Error Handling

Perform the necessary error checking to ensure that the input file exists and that the output file can be written. You can use the system error “errno” and “strerror” to provide additional error messaging.


The program will be graded on the basic functionality, error handling and how well the implementation description was followed. Be sure to name your program filecat.c (no extra characters, capitals) and include the output from the strace command. Note that documentation and style are worth 10% of the assignment’s grade!


The program (source code only) should be posted to Blackboard on the due date