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Use `mkfifo` to create named pipe - Linux Tips

We can use mkfifo or mknod command to create a named pipe. A pipe is a structure which one end can send message and the other can consume it.

To create a named pipe, we can use mkfifo or mknod:

$ mkfifo pipe1

# we can see the file type is "named pipe" using `file` command
$ file pipe1
pipe1: fifo (named pipe)

$ ls -al pipe1
prw-r--r-- 1 userx userx  0 Dec 29 20:35 pipe1

# or we can use mknod, "p" indicate this "node" is a pipe
$ mknod pipe2 p
$ file pipe2
pipe2: fifo (named pipe)
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Now let's send/consume messages with this pipe. Open a terminal window:

$ tail -f pipe1
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Open another terminal window, write a message to this pipe:

$ echo "hello" >> pipe1
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Now in the first window you can see the "hello" printed out:

$ tail -f pipe1
hello

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Because it is a pipe and message has been consumed, if we check the file size, you can see it is still 0:

$ ls -al pipe1
prw-r--r-- 1 userx userx 0 Dec 29 20:35 pipe1
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Top comments (1)

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bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

Here is a quick video demo on how to do that as well:

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