Empty files can be used as a mean to pass information between programs in a persistent manner, or a form of configuration. Empty files can be used on web servers to declutter 404 logs of endless bot scans.
For the examples below, we assume relative filename “path/to/empty”, where directories “path/to” already exist. We assume that a file does NOT exist at the filename, and it may be overwritten if it exists.
NOTE: For simplicity, some of these examples overwrite existing files, but some do not overwrite. Extra code is required to give a consistent behavior. All examples at least create an empty file if one doesn’t exist.
Windows users often use Command Prompt or PowerShell. Create empty file with Command Prompt:
copy NUL path\to\empty
Create empty file with PowerShell (on any operating system):
For Linux, MacOS and other Unix-like systems, most shells create empty file like:
Python creates an empty file by:
Fortran creates an empty file by:
open(newunit=u, file='path/to/empty') close(u)
Create an empty file in C++: