Command line tricks for smart geeks

“Make your own Bash wormholes

“Even for the Bash aficionado, the mkfifo command is likely to
be one of the lesser used in your collection. It creates a pipe for
sharing data, connecting two running utilities with a kind of
command line wormhole. Data sent into one end will instantaneously
appear at the other.

“Before we look at how to use it, it’s worth going over how we
typically see pipes. If you’ve used the shell for anything other
than scaring your friends with cat /dev/random, you’ll be used to
the idea of pipes. They’re most often used to stream the output of
one program into the input of another. A common use is when there
is too much textual output from one command to read. Piping this
output into another – usually either less or more – lets you pause
and page through the output in your own time:

cat /var/log/messages | less

“In this instance, the pipe is temporarily created for the
execution of a single command, but using mkfifo it’s possible to
create persistent pipes that you can use for similar tasks.”


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