File Types

Unix files may have one of the following types:

• Symbolic link

• Block-oriented device file

• Character-oriented device file

• Pipe and named pipe (also called FIFO)

The first three file types are constituents of any Unix filesystem. Their implementation is described in detail in Chapter 17.

Device files are related to I/O devices and device drivers integrated into the kernel. For example, when a program accesses a device file, it acts directly on the I/O device associated with that file (see Chapter 13).

Pipes and sockets are special files used for interprocess communication (see Section 1.6.5 later in this chapter; also see Chapter 18 and Chapter 19)

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