file descriptors and /dev/fd

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – Are file descriptors unique across a process, or throughout the whole system. Because every file seems the use the same descriptor for stdin and stdout. Is there something special with these? How does stdin and stdout work? I realize the dev/fd, is a link to proc/self/fd, but how do they all have the same number? Edit: Even after looking at other processes most of the file descriptors are about the same numbers. (HowTos)