Inter-process communication

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Inter-Process Communication (IPC) is a set of techniques for the exchange of data among multiple threads in one or more processes. Processes may be running on one or more computers connected by a network. IPC techniques are divided into methods for message passing, synchronization, shared memory, and remote procedure calls (RPC). The method of IPC used may vary based on the bandwidth and latency of communication between the threads, and the type of data being communicated.

IPC may also be referred to as inter-thread communication and inter-application communication.

IPC, on par with the address space concept, is the foundation for address space independence/isolation.[1]


[edit] Implementations

There are a number of APIs which may be used for IPC. A number of platform independent APIs include the following:

The following are platform or programming language specific APIs:

Table of IPC Methods:

Method Provided by (Operating systems or other environments)
File All operating systems.
Signal Most operating systems; some systems, such as Windows, only implement signals in the C run-time library and do not actually provide support for their use as an IPC technique.
Socket Most operating systems.
Pipe All POSIX systems.
Named pipe All POSIX systems, Windows.
Semaphore All POSIX systems.
Shared memory All POSIX systems.
Message passing
(shared nothing)
Used in MPI paradigm, Java RMI, CORBA and others.
memory-mapped file All POSIX systems; may carry race condition risk if a temporary file is used. Windows also supports this technique but the APIs used are platform specific.
Message queue Most operating systems.
Mailbox Some operating systems.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Jochen Liedtke. On µ-Kernel Construction, Proc. 15th ACM Symposium on Operating System Principles (SOSP), December 1995

[edit] External links

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