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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  PIPE (2)

NAME

pipe, pipe2 - create descriptor pair for interprocess communication

CONTENTS

Library
Synopsis
Description
Return Values
Errors
See Also
History

LIBRARY


.Lb libc

SYNOPSIS


.In unistd.h int pipe int fildes[2] int pipe2 int fildes[2] int flags

DESCRIPTION

The pipe system call creates a pipe, which is an object allowing bidirectional data flow, and allocates a pair of file descriptors.

The pipe2 system call allows control over the attributes of the file descriptors via the flags argument. Values for flags are constructed by a bitwise-inclusive OR of flags from the following list, defined in
.In fcntl.h :
O_CLOEXEC Set the close-on-exec flag for the new file descriptors.
O_NONBLOCK
  Set the non-blocking flag for the ends of the pipe.

If the flags argument is 0, the behavior is identical to a call to pipe.

By convention, the first descriptor is normally used as the read end of the pipe, and the second is normally the write end, so that data written to fildes[1] appears on (i.e., can be read from) fildes[0]. This allows the output of one program to be sent to another program: the source’s standard output is set up to be the write end of the pipe, and the sink’s standard input is set up to be the read end of the pipe. The pipe itself persists until all its associated descriptors are closed.

A pipe that has had an end closed is considered widowed. Writing on such a pipe causes the writing process to receive a SIGPIPE signal. Widowing a pipe is the only way to deliver end-of-file to a reader: after the reader consumes any buffered data, reading a widowed pipe returns a zero count.

The bidirectional nature of this implementation of pipes is not portable to older systems, so it is recommended to use the convention for using the endpoints in the traditional manner when using a pipe in one direction.

RETURN VALUES


.Rv -std pipe

ERRORS

The pipe and pipe2 system calls will fail if:
[EMFILE]
  Too many descriptors are active.
[ENFILE]
  The system file table is full.
[ENOMEM]
  Not enough kernel memory to establish a pipe.

The pipe2 system call will also fail if:
[EINVAL]
  The flags argument is invalid.

SEE ALSO

sh(1), fork(2), read(2), socketpair(2), write(2)

HISTORY

The pipe function appeared in AT&T v3 .

Bidirectional pipes were first used on AT&T V.4 .

The pipe2 function appeared in
.Fx 10.0 .

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