Unix Programming Frequently Asked Questions
About this FAQ
1. Process Control
1.1 Creating new processes: fork()
1.1.1 What does fork() do?
1.1.2 What's the difference between fork() and vfork()?
1.1.3 Why use _exit rather than exit in the child branch of a fork?
1.2 Environment variables
1.2.1 How can I get/set an environment variable from a program?
1.2.2 How can I read the whole environment?
1.3 How can I sleep for less than a second?
1.4 How can I get a finer-grained version of alarm()?
1.5 How can a parent and child process communicate?
1.6 How do I get rid of zombie processes?
1.6.1 What is a zombie?
1.6.2 How do I prevent them from occuring?
1.7 How do I get my program to act like a daemon?
1.8 How can I look at process in the system like ps does?
1.9 Given a pid, how can I tell if it's a running program?
1.10 What's the return value of system/pclose/waitpid?
1.11 How do I find out about a process' memory usage?
1.12 Why do processes never decrease in size?
1.13 How do I change the name of my program (as seen by `ps')?
1.14 How can I find a process' executable file?
1.14.1 So where do I put my configuration files then?
1.15 Why doesn't my process get SIGHUP when its parent dies?
1.16 How can I kill all descendents of a process?
2. General File handling (including pipes and sockets)
2.1 How to manage multiple connections?
2.1.1 How do I use select()?
2.1.2 How do I use poll()?
2.1.3 Can I use SysV IPC at the same time as select or poll?
2.2 How can I tell when the other end of a connection shuts down?
2.3 Best way to read directories?
2.4 How can I find out if someone else has a file open?
2.5 How do I `lock' a file?
2.6 How do I find out if a file has been updated by another process?
2.7 How does the `du' utility work?
2.8 How do I find the size of a file?
2.9 How do I expand `~' in a filename like the shell does?
2.10 What can I do with named pipes (FIFOs)?
2.10.1 What is a named pipe?
2.10.2 How do I create a named pipe?
2.10.3 How do I use a named pipe?
2.10.4 Can I use a named pipe across NFS?
2.10.5 Can multiple processes write to the pipe simultaneously?
2.10.6 Using named pipes in applications
3. Terminal I/O
3.1 How can I make my program not echo input?
3.2 How can I read single characters from the terminal?
3.3 How can I check and see if a key was pressed?
3.4 How can I move the cursor around the screen?
3.5 What are pttys?
3.6 How to handle a serial port or modem?
3.6.1 Serial device names and types
3.6.2 Setting up termios flags
4. System Information
4.1 How can I tell how much memory my system has?
4.2 How do I check a user's password?
4.2.1 How do I get a user's password?
4.2.2 How do I get shadow passwords by uid?
4.2.3 How do I verify a user's password?
5. Miscellaneous programming
5.1 How do I compare strings using wildcards?
5.1.1 How do I compare strings using filename patterns?
5.1.2 How do I compare strings using regular expressions?
5.2 What's the best way to send mail from a program?
5.2.1 The simple method: /bin/mail
5.2.2 Invoking the MTA directly: /usr/lib/sendmail
188.8.131.52 Supplying the envelope explicitly
184.108.40.206 Allowing sendmail to deduce the recipients
6. Use of tools
6.1 How can I debug the children after a fork?
6.2 How to build library from other libraries?
6.3 How to create shared libraries / dlls?
6.4 Can I replace objects in a shared library?
6.5 How can I generate a stack dump from within a running program?
Reading the process table -- SUNOS 4 version
Reading the process table -- SYSV version
Reading the process table -- AIX 4.2 version
Reading the process table using popen and ps
Daemon utility functions
Modem handling example
Job Control example
This document was generated on 1 September 2000 using the
translator version 1.51.