If you are also a moderate Linux demand line individual, you should be conscious of pipelines, a command that is fundamental feature that allows processes to communicate. Then there’s a concept of named pipes (yeah, pipes with names, so that you can do more with pipes). The mkfifo command lets you create such named pipes.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the basics of mkfifo using some easy to understand examples. But before we do that, it’s worth mentioning all examples here have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Linux mkfifo command

The mkfifo command basically lets you create FIFOs (a.k.a named pipes). Following is the syntax of the command:

mkfifo [OPTION]… NAME…

And here’s how the tool’s man page explains it******) that is:(**********)Create known as pipelines (FIFOs) utilizing the offered NAMEs.

Following are Q&A-styled examples that will provide a idea that is good how mkfifo works.

Q1. What exactly are named pipes?

To understand this, you should first be aware of the concept of basic pipes. You’d have seen commands that contain a bar that is vertical|) inside them. This club is known as a pipe. Exactly what it can is, it makes a channel of interaction involving the two procedures (if the command that is complete executed).

For example:

ls | grep .txt

The command mentioned above consists of two programs: ls and grep. Both these scheduled programs are divided by a pipe (|). What exactly pipeline does the following is, it makes a channel of interaction between these programs – if the command that is aforementioned executed, the output of ls is fed as input to grep. So finally, the output that gets displayed on the terminal consists of only those entries that have ‘.txt’ string in them.

So that was a refresher that is quick of pipelines. Now comes the idea of known as pipelines. While the true name itself suggests, these are pipes with names. You can create a named pipe using the mkfifo command. For example:

mkfifo pipe2

So ‘pipe2’ is now a named pipe. Now comes the relevant concern exactly how known as pipelines are far more of use? Well, look at the situation in which you’ve got an activity operating in a terminal and creating production, and what you need would be to channelize that production to a terminal that is different. So here, a named pipe could of great help.

For example, suppose ls is the process running in the first terminal, and you want to see its output in a different terminal.. So here’s what you can do:

ls > pipe2

and here’s what you can do in the terminal that is second******)

cat < pipe2

What exactly are named pipes

Q2. Just how to recognize known as pipelines?

Named pipelines are accessed ordinarily like files. Making sure that means the ls can be used by you command to access them. If the access is seen by you permissions for a named pipeline, you will see a ‘p’ at first. This signifies the file under consideration is a named pipeline. Here is a good example:

How to identify named pipes

Q3. Just how to set customized access permissions?

As you can observe within the Q&A that is previous default access permissions for named pipes is ‘rw’, ‘rw’, and ‘r’ (for user, group, and others, respectively). However, you can set custom permissions as well, something which you can do using the -m option.( if you want,******)

For instance:

mkfifo pipe3***************************************************)( that is-m(

The following screenshot confirms custom permissions were set:

How to set custom access permissions

To know more about mkfifo, you can use the –help and –version options.


So depending upon what kind of work you do on the Linux command line, the mkfifo command can prove to be very useful to you. Once you’re done with the usage that is basic’ve talked about right here, you are able to find out about the device by maneuvering to its guy web page.

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