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Oracle® Solaris 11.3 Programming Interfaces Guide

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Updated: April 2019

Named Pipes

Named pipes function much like pipes, but are created as named entities in a file system. This enables the pipe to be opened by all processes with no requirement that they be related by forking. A named pipe is created by a call to mknod(). Any process with appropriate permission can then read or write to a named pipe. For more information, see the mknod(2) man page.

In the open() call, the process opening the pipe blocks until another process also opens the pipe.

To open a named pipe without blocking, the open() call joins the O_NDELAY mask (found in sys/fcntl.h) with the selected file mode mask using the Boolean or operation on the call to open(). If no other process is connected to the pipe when open() is called, -1 is returned with errno set to EWOULDBLOCK. For more information, see the open(2) man page.