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Operating Systems: Concurrent and Distributed Software Design by Tim Harris, Jean Bacon

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24.7. IPC: Pipes and signals

The final aspect of the classical UNIX system that we will consider is the provision of inter-process communication (IPC). We have already seen one crude option: a process may write to a file in the file system which another process subsequently reads. This can be coordinated using the exit code returned by a child process to indicate when the file is ready for reading. However, that solution is far from satisfactory for several reasons: it requires a further communication mechanism to supply the processes involved with the filename to use, it assumes that the file is written in its entirety before being read and it also requires that data is written to disk (or at least to the buffer cache) even if both processes ...

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