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A file URI scheme makes it possible to specify an URI to a file stored locally, such as file:///home/demo/sample.

Could it be used to specify stdin?

For instance, with CURL:

curl file:///home/demo/sample

shows the contents of the file;

echo "Hello" | curl file:///dev/fd/0

gives an empty result, while I would expect it to show “Hello”. By the way:

echo "Hello" | cat /dev/fd/0

actually displays “Hello” to the output.

What should I put after file:// to target stdin?


Context: I'm experimenting with Motion which is able to read data from an HTTP URI or a file specified as file://, but doesn't seem to have an option to read a video stream directly from stdin (and a related question asked nearly two years ago was never answered). I want to be able to trick the app to think that it reads a file, when it actually is reading the output from ffmpeg.

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    This is likely to be fairly application-dependent. I'd guess curl doesn't like reading a device file for its file:// URLs, hence no easy file:///dev/stdin or similar. You might have better luck creating a FIFO and reading from that, or just using temp files. – Tom Hunt Nov 11 '15 at 23:19
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curl file:///dev/fd/0

IS the correct way to make curl read from file descriptor 0 (stdin).

Take any readable textfile, do

<theTextFile.txt curl file:///dev/fd/0

And it should work just like cat.

Your problem is "How do I make curl read from a pipe?" and I'm afraid the answer is: patch curl's source code.


If you analyze the strace of curl on the example up top, you'll see it mmaps the file. mmaping won't work if the file is a pipe. If curl used regular read and write system calls, there wouldn't be any difference between <theTextFile.txt curl file:///dev/fd/0 and cat theTextFile.txt curl | file:///dev/fd/0, which is how it should be, IMO.

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