Is there a way to hold a lock a unix port using netcat or some other command?

I want to do something like this:

set -e;
nc -lock 8000 &  # this needs to fail if another process holds the lock
my-proc  # start my process

how can I do this?


Abstract unix socket (man 7 unix):

  • abstract: an abstract socket address is distinguished (from a pathname socket) by the fact that sun_path[0] is a null byte ('\0'). The socket's address in this namespace is given by the additional bytes in sun_path that are covered by the specified length of the address structure. (Null bytes in the name have no special significance.) The name has no connection with filesystem pathnames. [...]

Its main interest here is that this socket doesn't stay around when the process which created it dies. Luckily socat provides an ABSTRACT-LISTEN method specifically for abstract sockets (avoiding having to handle '\0' in parameters and shell). Thus allowing to implement this python method in shell:


socat ABSTRACT-LISTEN:/myownapplock - >/dev/null &

sleep 2 # wait for socat to have executed and be listening or have failed
if pgrep -P $$ '^socat$'; then
    echo >&2 'Lock failed.'
    exit 1


kill $socatpid # cleanup once my-proc is done

Running the same code a 2nd time will fail. I'm sure the sleep 2 can be improved, but this code is still race-free (as long as socat takes less than 2 seconds to start). The abstract socket can be seen for example with netstat -xlp|fgrep @/myownapplock.

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