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Right now I'm primarily investigating (Unix) pipes as one of the possible mechanisms used for communication between an X client and an X server. (Others include BSD Sockets and a TCP mechanism.)

Maybe a few lines from a definiton of Unix sockets I found at UNIX Socket FAQ will be helpful (I think some of this is applicable to pipes, but probably not all):

Sockets are just like "worm holes" in science fiction. When things go into one end, they (should) come out of the other. Different kinds of sockets have different properties. Sockets are either connection-oriented or connectionless. Connection-oriented sockets allow for data to flow back and forth as needed, while connectionless sockets (also known as datagram sockets) allow only one message at a time to be transmitted, without an open connection. There are also different socket families. The two most common are AF_INET for internet connections, and AF_UNIX for unix IPC (interprocess communication). As stated earlier, this FAQ deals only with AF_INET sockets.

I found reference to this on http://www.xfree86.org/current/XFree86.1.html, which talks about (or at least mentions) how the X server and X client communicate (the mechanism rather than the protocol) talks about Unix sockets, and some alternates, like NAMED, PTS, SCO, and ISC. I want to investigate this further:

    • Unix Sockets
    • NAMED — SVR4 Named Streams pipe
    • PTS — old-style USL Streams pipe (USL = Unix Systems Laboratory??) -- this appears to be what's used on my Mandrake 9.0 system (based on who returning a bunch of processes like /dev/pts0)
    • SCO — SCO XSight Streams pipe — maybe only relevant if I would try to make this work on SCO?
    • ISC — ISC Streams pipe

I'm assuming (I know wink ) that the last four can generally be categorized as Unix pipes, especially because a man pipe includes the line: "CONFORMING TO ... SVr4, SVID, AT&T, POSIX, X/OPEN, BSD 4.3"

There are many man pages that can be found by starting at man pipe and following the See also "links" -- I'll list a bunch of the on-line versions under Resources, below:





See Resource Recommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • (rhk) [[][]]; ; —

Recommended for Specific Needs

Well, sort of. Plus, I don't think all of these are relevant.


  • () RandyKramer - 11 Apr 2003
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Topic revision: r1 - 2003-04-11 - RandyKramer
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