The term stream is an abstraction of a construct that allows you to send or receive an unknown number of bytes.


Class Name


ios(General I/Ostream class)

  • Contains basic facilities that are used by all other input and output classes.
  • Also contains a pointer to a buffer object.
  • Declares constants and functions that are necessary for handling formatted input and output functions.


  • Inherits the properties of ios.
  • Declares input functions such as get(),getline() and read()
  • Contains overloaded extraction operator >>

ostream(output stream)

  • Inherits the properties of ios.
  • Declares output functions such as put() and write()
  • Contains overloaded insertion operator <<


  • Inherits the properties of ios,istream and ostream through multiple inheritance and thus contains all the input and output functions.
  • Provides an interface to physical devices through buffers.
  • Acts as a base for filebuf class used ios files.