I've been porting a bunch of scripts on AIX 7.1. I got no prior experience with this Unix system.

The scripts were ran under /bin/sh and relied on /dev/stdout, /dev/stdin and /dev/stderr. These files are known to be non-standardized and the AIX 7.1 does not seem to implement them.

As I discovered the /proc VFS is present, so I tried to substitute the /dev/std{in|out|err} with /proc/$$/fd/{0|1|2}. This failed, since the descriptors are not links to a pts but a real char file devices with permissions 000 (c---------).

The /bin/bash is known to emulate many devices in /dev including /dev/std*. My limited experiments with switching to /bin/bash from /bin/sh and using /dev/std* were successful. However, switching & testing all the scripts to /bin/bash would be time consuming.


How to handle the standard IO files in AIX 7.1 under /bin/sh? Is employing eg. /dev/tty the way?

// Example of a call in one of the scripts to be ported:

# param_protocol parameter apparently needs a file representation of the stdout
black_box_binary param1=$value1 param2=$value2 param_protocol=/dev/stdout

You can replace those files by reading from <&0 and writing to >&1 and >&2, ie. stdin, stdout and stderr respectively.

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  • It seems my scripts use eg. the /dev/stdout as a parameter to a function. Thus not only redirects. This doesn't work as a function parameter, does it? – Yuri Jan 18 '18 at 15:12
  • Can you provide an example? (in your question) – Gerard H. Pille Jan 18 '18 at 15:38
  • What does black_box_binary do with its third parameter? – Gerard H. Pille Jan 18 '18 at 18:19
  • It seems it prints its protocol/log to the file specified by the parameter. So normally it should output the protocol to the standard output. – Yuri Jan 18 '18 at 20:23

Could the files /dev/std{in,out,err} be just symlinks to /proc/$$/fd/{0,1,2}? See "Standard error and other output redirection" for background information. However, according a former thread here, the Portability of “> /dev/stdout” seems to be shell dependent.

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  • 1
    No, on AIX 7.1 they are not symlinks. I can tell this seems to be common on Linux or cygwin, but not on AIX. – Yuri Jan 18 '18 at 15:14

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