Why is there no true file descriptor clone mechanism when possible, like it is for disk files.
After a successful return from one of these system calls, the old and new file descriptors may be used interchangeably. They refer to the same open file description (see open(2)) and thus share file offset and file status flags; for example, if the file offset is modified by using lseek(2) on one of the descriptors, the offset is also changed for the other.
The duplicate handle refers to the same object as the original handle. Therefore, any changes to the object are reflected through both handles. For example, if you duplicate a file handle, the current file position is always the same for both handles. For file handles to have different file positions, use the CreateFile function to create file handles that share access to the same file.
Reasons for having a clone primitive:
When manipulating a file archive, I want each file in the archive has to be accessible independently. The file archive should behave somewhat like a virtual filesystem.
File type checking. Being able to clone file offsets makes it possible to read a small portion of the file without affecting the original position.
Best How To :
You should consider the following: file descriptor is merely an offset into the array of "file" (literally, that's what they are called) object pointers on the kernel side. So when you duplicate the file descriptor, the kernel will simply copy the value of the file pointer from one location in the array to another and increment the reference count on the pointed to object.
Thus, your issue is not with file descriptor duplication, but with management of the file offsets. The easy answer for this: do it yourself. That is, associate the current file offset with each file descriptor on the application side explicitly.
Of course, the most basic file access system calls
write() make use of kernel maintained file offset variable, if it's available (and it's only available if you are dealing with "normal" random access files). But more advanced file access system calls will expect the desired file offset to be supplied by the application on each invocation. Those include
aio_write (the later is probably the best approach for writing parallel access applications like the one you described).
WriteFileEx() analogously expect to be passed the file offset on every invocation (via the