PIPE(2)                     Linux Programmer's Manual                    PIPE(2)

       pipe, pipe2 - create pipe

       #include <unistd.h>

       int pipe(int pipefd[2]);

       #define _GNU_SOURCE             /* See feature_test_macros(7) */
       #include <fcntl.h>              /* Definition of O_* constants */
       #include <unistd.h>

       int pipe2(int pipefd[2], int flags);

       /* On Alpha, IA-64, MIPS, SuperH, and SPARC/SPARC64, pipe() has the
          following prototype; see NOTES */

       #include <unistd.h>

       struct fd_pair {
           long fd[2];
       struct fd_pair pipe(void);

       pipe() creates a pipe, a unidirectional data channel that can be used for
       interprocess communication.  The array pipefd is used to return two file
       descriptors referring to the ends of the pipe.  pipefd[0] refers to the
       read end of the pipe.  pipefd[1] refers to the write end of the pipe.
       Data written to the write end of the pipe is buffered by the kernel until
       it is read from the read end of the pipe.  For further details, see

       If flags is 0, then pipe2() is the same as pipe().  The following values
       can be bitwise ORed in flags to obtain different behavior:

              Set the close-on-exec (FD_CLOEXEC) flag on the two new file
              descriptors.  See the description of the same flag in open(2) for
              reasons why this may be useful.

       O_DIRECT (since Linux 3.4)
              Create a pipe that performs I/O in "packet" mode.  Each write(2)
              to the pipe is dealt with as a separate packet, and read(2)s from
              the pipe will read one packet at a time.  Note the following

              *  Writes of greater than PIPE_BUF bytes (see pipe(7)) will be
                 split into multiple packets.  The constant PIPE_BUF is defined
                 in <limits.h>.

              *  If a read(2) specifies a buffer size that is smaller than the
                 next packet, then the requested number of bytes are read, and
                 the excess bytes in the packet are discarded.  Specifying a
                 buffer size of PIPE_BUF will be sufficient to read the largest
                 possible packets (see the previous point).

              *  Zero-length packets are not supported.  (A read(2) that
                 specifies a buffer size of zero is a no-op, and returns 0.)

              Older kernels that do not support this flag will indicate this via
              an EINVAL error.

              Since Linux 4.5, it is possible to change the O_DIRECT setting of
              a pipe file descriptor using fcntl(2).

              Set the O_NONBLOCK file status flag on the open file descriptions
              referred to by the new file descriptors.  Using this flag saves
              extra calls to fcntl(2) to achieve the same result.

       On success, zero is returned.  On error, -1 is returned, errno is set to
       indicate the error, and pipefd is left unchanged.

       On Linux (and other systems), pipe() does not modify pipefd on failure.
       A requirement standardizing this behavior was added in POSIX.1-2008 TC2.
       The Linux-specific pipe2() system call likewise does not modify pipefd on

       EFAULT pipefd is not valid.

       EINVAL (pipe2()) Invalid value in flags.

       EMFILE The per-process limit on the number of open file descriptors has
              been reached.

       ENFILE The system-wide limit on the total number of open files has been

       ENFILE The user hard limit on memory that can be allocated for pipes has
              been reached and the caller is not privileged; see pipe(7).

       pipe2() was added to Linux in version 2.6.27; glibc support is available
       starting with version 2.9.

       pipe(): POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.

       pipe2() is Linux-specific.

       The System V ABI on some architectures allows the use of more than one
       register for returning multiple values; several architectures (namely,
       Alpha, IA-64, MIPS, SuperH, and SPARC/SPARC64) (ab)use this feature in
       order to implement the pipe() system call in a functional manner: the
       call doesn't take any arguments and returns a pair of file descriptors as
       the return value on success.  The glibc pipe() wrapper function
       transparently deals with this.  See syscall(2) for information regarding
       registers used for storing second file descriptor.

       The following program creates a pipe, and then fork(2)s to create a child
       process; the child inherits a duplicate set of file descriptors that
       refer to the same pipe.  After the fork(2), each process closes the file
       descriptors that it doesn't need for the pipe (see pipe(7)).  The parent
       then writes the string contained in the program's command-line argument
       to the pipe, and the child reads this string a byte at a time from the
       pipe and echoes it on standard output.

   Program source
       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <sys/wait.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <string.h>

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
           int pipefd[2];
           pid_t cpid;
           char buf;

           if (argc != 2) {
               fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <string>\n", argv[0]);

           if (pipe(pipefd) == -1) {

           cpid = fork();
           if (cpid == -1) {

           if (cpid == 0) {    /* Child reads from pipe */
               close(pipefd[1]);          /* Close unused write end */

               while (read(pipefd[0], &buf, 1) > 0)
                   write(STDOUT_FILENO, &buf, 1);

               write(STDOUT_FILENO, "\n", 1);

           } else {            /* Parent writes argv[1] to pipe */
               close(pipefd[0]);          /* Close unused read end */
               write(pipefd[1], argv[1], strlen(argv[1]));
               close(pipefd[1]);          /* Reader will see EOF */
               wait(NULL);                /* Wait for child */

       fork(2), read(2), socketpair(2), splice(2), tee(2), vmsplice(2),
       write(2), popen(3), pipe(7)

       This page is part of release 5.13 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                              2021-03-22                            PIPE(2)