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SearchEnterpriseLinux: The Lost Art of Named Pipes

Apr 22, 2004, 08:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tony Mancill)

[ Thanks to js61351 for this link. ]

"A 'named pipe'--also known as a FIFO (First In, First Out) or just fifo--is an inter-process communication mechanism that makes use of the filesystem to allow two processes to communicate with each other. In particular, it allows one of these to open one end of the pipe as a reader, and the other to open it as a writer. Let's take a look at the FIFO and how you can use it.

"First, here's a real-life example of a named pipe at work. In this instance, you run a shell command like: 'ls -al | grep myfile' In that example, the 'ls' program is writing to the pipe, and 'grep' is reading from it. Well, a named pipe is exactly that, but the processes don't have to be running under the same shell, nor are they restricted to writing to STDOUT and reading from STDIN. Instead, they reference the named pipe via the filesystem..."

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