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C program to demonstrate fork() and pipe()

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 02 Jun, 2017

Write Linux C program to create two processes P1 and P2. P1 takes a string and passes it to P2. P2 concatenates the received string with another string without using string function and sends it back to P1 for printing.


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Other string is:

Input  : www.geeks
Output :
Input :  www.practice.geeks
Output :


  • To create child process we use fork(). fork() returns :
    • <0 fail to create child (new) process
    • =0 for child process
    • >0 i.e process ID of the child process to the parent process. When >0 parent process will execute.
  • pipe() is used for passing information from one process to another. pipe() is unidirectional therefore, for two-way communication between processes, two pipes can be set up, one for each direction.
     int fd[2];
     fd[0]; //-> for using read end
     fd[1]; //-> for using write end

Inside Parent Process : We firstly close the reading end of first pipe (fd1[0]) then write the string though writing end of the pipe (fd1[1]). Now parent will wait until child process is finished. After the child process, parent will close the writing end of second pipe(fd2[1]) and read the string through reading end of pipe (fd2[0]).

Inside Child Process : Child reads the first string sent by parent process by closing the writing end of pipe (fd1[1]) and after reading concatenate both string and passes the string to parent process via fd2 pipe and will exit.

// C program to demonstrate use of fork() and pipe()
int main()
    // We use two pipes
    // First pipe to send input string from parent
    // Second pipe to send concatenated string from child
    int fd1[2];  // Used to store two ends of first pipe
    int fd2[2];  // Used to store two ends of second pipe
    char fixed_str[] = "";
    char input_str[100];
    pid_t p;
    if (pipe(fd1)==-1)
        fprintf(stderr, "Pipe Failed" );
        return 1;
    if (pipe(fd2)==-1)
        fprintf(stderr, "Pipe Failed" );
        return 1;
    scanf("%s", input_str);
    p = fork();
    if (p < 0)
        fprintf(stderr, "fork Failed" );
        return 1;
    // Parent process
    else if (p > 0)
        char concat_str[100];
        close(fd1[0]);  // Close reading end of first pipe
        // Write input string and close writing end of first
        // pipe.
        write(fd1[1], input_str, strlen(input_str)+1);
        // Wait for child to send a string
        close(fd2[1]); // Close writing end of second pipe
        // Read string from child, print it and close
        // reading end.
        read(fd2[0], concat_str, 100);
        printf("Concatenated string %s\n", concat_str);
    // child process
        close(fd1[1]);  // Close writing end of first pipe
        // Read a string using first pipe
        char concat_str[100];
        read(fd1[0], concat_str, 100);
        // Concatenate a fixed string with it
        int k = strlen(concat_str);
        int i;
        for (i=0; i<strlen(fixed_str); i++)
            concat_str[k++] = fixed_str[i];
        concat_str[k] = '\0';   // string ends with '\0'
        // Close both reading ends
        // Write concatenated string and close writing end
        write(fd2[1], concat_str, strlen(concat_str)+1);
Input : www.geeks
Output : Concatenated string


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