Passing open file descriptors over unix domain sockets

Note:- This article is an example walk-through written for developers keeping in mind that you are aware of very basic network/socket programming concepts.

Some basics
All of you must have heard about file descriptors or popularly known as fds in Unix world. It is basically an index/indicator generally used to provide access to files, network sockets etc. File descriptor will always be a non-negative integer which has been part of POSIX standard from old days. Accordingly we have 3 standard POSIX file descriptors namely standard input or stdin with value 0, standard output or stdout with value 1 and standard error or stderr with value 2. Standard I/O library from C allows us to create fds via different system calls like open(), creat(), socket(), socketpair(), pipe() etc. For example, if we want to write some data into a file we normally invoke open(2) or create(2) to have an open file descriptor and subsequent write(2) operation is performed via that fd. Finally when we are done with operations we close the fd.

That’s all about some basic file operations work flow. On the other side we have Unix Domain Sockets which is commonly used for data communications between processes Continue reading