Linux – unix domain socket VS named pipes


After looking at a unix named socket and i thought they were named pipes. I looked at name pipes and didnt see much of a difference. I saw they were initialized differently but thats the only thing i notice. Both use the C write/read function and work alike AFAIK.

Whats the difference between unix domain sockets and named pipes? When would i pick one over the other? Which should i use by default (like how i use use vector by default in C++ than use deque, list or whatever else if i have needs)?

Best Solution

UNIX-domain sockets are generally more flexible than named pipes. Some of their advantages are:

  • You can use them for more than two processes communicating (eg. a server process with potentially multiple client processes connecting);
  • They are bidirectional;
  • They support passing kernel-verified UID / GID credentials between processes;
  • They support passing file descriptors between processes;
  • They support packet and sequenced packet modes.

To use many of these features, you need to use the send() / recv() family of system calls rather than write() / read().