Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Pipes support in Unix shell

News Pipes Recommended Links Pipe Debugging Classic Unix filters Coroutines Loops connected to a pipe
Process Substitution in Shell Named pipes Subshells Shell debugging perl one liners awk one liners  
cut tr expand tee sort uniq script
pv - pipe viewer netcat Tips History  Humor Random Findings Etc

Shell support for pipes exists on three levels:

1. Internal functions can read from pipe and write to pipe: in Korn shell and derivatives such as bash internal shell functions can serve as pipe input generators as well as pipe output recipients.

2. Loops can get input from pipes and write to pipe. Loops connected to a pipe  are unique to shell. They are very powerful, albeit little known and underappreciated constructs. The key idea is to allow feeding output of the pipe to the loop or feed a sequence generated by a loop to the pipe.

3. Coprocessing mechanism

4. Process substitution   Process substitution is a  special case of pipe that allows the input or output of a command to appear as a file. Under the hood, process substitution works by creating a named pipe. The command is substituted in-line and can be use as a parameter which normally is a file. This allows programs that normally only accept files to directly read from or write to another program. Classic case is differing the snapshort and existing status of some command

diff  netstat_snapsort121004.txt <(netstat -rn)

Let's assume that we need to find all files that contain string "#!/bin/bash"

cd/ /usr/bin
ls | while read file
do
   echo "Executing grep '#!/bin/bash' $file"
   grep '#!/bin/bash' $file
done

Here we use the ls command to generate the list of the file names and this list it piped into a loop. In a loop we echo command and execute it.

In another example from O'Reilly "Learning Korn Shell" (first edition). Here we will pipe awk output into the loop. This is a  function that, given a pathname as argument, prints its equivalent in tilde notation if possible:

function tildize {
    if [[ $1 = $HOME* ]]; then
        print "\~/${1#$HOME}"
        return 0
    fi
    awk '{FS=":"; print $1, $6}' /etc/passwd | while read user homedir; do
        if [[ $homedir != / && $1 = ${homedir}?(/*) ]]; then
           print "\~$user/${1#$homedir}"
           return 0
        fi
    done
    print "$1"
    return 1
}

Loop can also serve as a source to input for the pipe. For example

{ while read line'?adc> '; do
      print "$(alg2rpn $line)"
  done 
} | dc

As an example; assume that you want to go through all C files of a directory and, if they are readable to you, convert the filenames to contain lowercase letters only (this example may be a little contrived). We can do it it in slightly different ways.

The first script calls tr inside the the for-loop:

#!/bin/sh
for x in *.c
do
  [ -r $x ] && echo $x | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z'
done
and the second script uses coroutine linage (pipe) to feed tr from the loop:
#!/bin/sh
for x in *.c
do
  [ -r $x ] && echo $x 
done | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z'
There is also a useful terminal-based tool for monitoring the progress of data through a pipeline called pipe viewer.  It can be inserted into any normal pipeline between two processes to give a visual indication of how quickly data is passing through, how long it has taken, how near to completion it is, and an estimate of how long it will be until completion.
 
Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Pipe output to function - Bash - The UNIX and Linux Forums

lfile=/var/tmp/$$.tmp

# function read input from stdin and write output to the stdout
# caller must take care about where come stdin and where go stdout
log() 
{
  while read data
  do
      echo "[$(date +"%D %T")] $data" 
  done
}

# how to use this function ?
# - input is pipe and ouput is file
somecmd | log  >> $lfile
# - input is file and output is  stdout
log < somefile
# - input is stdin = if not defined=keyboard
log
# input is pipe and output pipe
somecmd | log | sort

Process Substitution

A reader sent in the following interesting example of process substitution.

# Script fragment taken from SuSE distribution:

# --------------------------------------------------------------#
while read  des what mask iface; do
# Some commands ...
done < <(route -n)  
#    ^ ^  First < is redirection, second is process substitution.

# To test it, let's make it do something.
while read  des what mask iface; do
  echo $des $what $mask $iface
done < <(route -n)  

# Output:
# Kernel IP routing table
# Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface
# 127.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 255.0.0.0 U 0 0 0 lo
# --------------------------------------------------------------#

#  As Stéphane Chazelas points out,
#+ an easier-to-understand equivalent is:
route -n |
  while read des what mask iface; do   # Variables set from output of pipe.
    echo $des $what $mask $iface
  done  #  This yields the same output as above.
        #  However, as Ulrich Gayer points out . . .
        #+ this simplified equivalent uses a subshell for the while loop,
        #+ and therefore the variables disappear when the pipe terminates.
	
# --------------------------------------------------------------#
	
#  However, Filip Moritz comments that there is a subtle difference
#+ between the above two examples, as the following shows.

(
route -n | while read x; do ((y++)); done
echo $y # $y is still unset

while read x; do ((y++)); done < <(route -n)
echo $y # $y has the number of lines of output of route -n
)

More generally spoken
(
: | x=x
# seems to start a subshell like
: | ( x=x )
# while
x=x < <(:)
# does not
)

# This is useful, when parsing csv and the like.
# That is, in effect, what the original SuSE code fragment does.



Etc

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit exclusivly for research and educational purposes.   If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. 

ABUSE: IPs or network segments from which we detect a stream of probes might be blocked for no less then 90 days. Multiple types of probes increase this period.  

Society

Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

Quotes

War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least


Copyright © 1996-2016 by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov. www.softpanorama.org was created as a service to the UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) in the author free time. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License.

The site uses AdSense so you need to be aware of Google privacy policy. You you do not want to be tracked by Google please disable Javascript for this site. This site is perfectly usable without Javascript.

Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.

This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...

You can use PayPal to make a contribution, supporting development of this site and speed up access. In case softpanorama.org is down you can use the at softpanorama.info

Disclaimer:

The statements, views and opinions presented on this web page are those of the author (or referenced source) and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of the author present and former employers, SDNP or any other organization the author may be associated with. We do not warrant the correctness of the information provided or its fitness for any purpose.

Last modified: September 12, 2017