From Chapter 5 of the book The design of Unix operating system by Bach, an algorithm to create an (unnamed) pipe is given. It states that,

assign an inode from pipe device (algorithm ialloc)

A pipe device is just a file system designated for pipe device from which kernel can assign inodes and data blocks to the pipes.

I want to know more about this pipe device specific file system. Can anyone suggest where to look for it?

  • Ok, the book is from 1986, if I googled correctly. Are you interested in the implementation details in the context of 30+ year old book; or in details on how things work in practice on more-or-less current systems; or in how things work in the abstract based on (current or historical) standards and customs? – ilkkachu Jun 7 '18 at 12:20
  • @ilkkachu I would like to know how things work in the abstract based on standards and customs... – Ru7w1k Jun 7 '18 at 14:43

The sources for the file system in question are here:


also have a look at this man page:


fattach() allows to mount a FIFO based object on top of a file.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.