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6.3.3 FIFO Operations

I/O operations on a FIFO are essentially the same as for normal pipes, with once major exception. An ``open'' system call or library function should be used to physically open up a channel to the pipe. With half-duplex pipes, this is unnecessary, since the pipe resides in the kernel and not on a physical filesystem. In our examples, we will treat the pipe as a stream, opening it up with fopen(), and closing it with fclose().

Consider a simple server process:

/*****************************************************************************
 Excerpt from "Linux Programmer's Guide - Chapter 6"
 (C)opyright 1994-1995, Scott Burkett
 ***************************************************************************** 
 MODULE: fifoserver.c
 *****************************************************************************/

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <unistd.h>

#include <linux/stat.h>

#define FIFO_FILE       "MYFIFO"

int main(void)
{
        FILE *fp;
        char readbuf[80];

        /* Create the FIFO if it does not exist */
        umask(0);
        mknod(FIFO_FILE, S_IFIFO|0666, 0);

        while(1)
        {
                fp = fopen(FIFO_FILE, "r");
                fgets(readbuf, 80, fp);
                printf("Received string: %s\n", readbuf);
                fclose(fp);
        }

        return(0);
}

Since a FIFO blocks by default, run the server in the background after you compile it:

        $ fifoserver&

We will discuss a FIFO's blocking action in a moment. First, consider the following simple client frontend to our server:

/*****************************************************************************
 Excerpt from "Linux Programmer's Guide - Chapter 6"
 (C)opyright 1994-1995, Scott Burkett
 ***************************************************************************** 
 MODULE: fifoclient.c
 *****************************************************************************/

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

#define FIFO_FILE       "MYFIFO"

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
        FILE *fp;

        if ( argc != 2 ) {
                printf("USAGE: fifoclient [string]\n");
                exit(1);
        }

        if((fp = fopen(FIFO_FILE, "w")) == NULL) {
                perror("fopen");
                exit(1);
        }

        fputs(argv[1], fp);

        fclose(fp);
        return(0);
}



Converted on:
Fri Mar 29 14:43:04 EST 1996