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, 2018 at 12:20
  • @ilkkachu I would like to know how things work in the abstract based on standards and customs...
    – Ru7w1k
    Jun 7, 2018 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


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.


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