pipe(2) BSD System Calls Manual pipe(2)
pipe -- create descriptor pair for interprocess communication
#include <unistd.h> int pipe(int fildes);
The pipe() function creates a pipe (an object that allows unidirectional data flow) and allocates a pair of file descriptors. The first descrip- tor connects to the read end of the pipe; the second connects to the write end. Data written to fildes appears on (i.e., can be read from) fildes. This allows the output of one program to be sent to another program: the source's standard output is set up to be the write end of the pipe; the sink's standard input is set up to be the read end of the pipe. The pipe itself persists until all of its associated descriptors are closed. A pipe whose read or write end has been closed is considered widowed. Writing on such a pipe causes the writing process to receive a SIGPIPE signal. Widowing a pipe is the only way to deliver end-of-file to a reader: after the reader consumes any buffered data, reading a widowed pipe returns a zero count. The generation of the SIGPIPE signal can be suppressed using the F_SETNOSIGPIPE fcntl command.
On successful creation of the pipe, zero is returned. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned and the variable errno set to indicate the error.
The pipe() call will fail if: [EFAULT] The fildes buffer is in an invalid area of the process's address space. [EMFILE] Too many descriptors are active. [ENFILE] The system file table is full.
A pipe() function call appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX. 4th Berkeley Distribution February 17, 2011 4th Berkeley Distribution
Mac OS X 10.9.1 - Generated Mon Jan 6 10:25:04 CST 2014