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named pipe

Contributor(s): Judi Nelson

In computer programming, a named pipe is a method for passing information from one computer process to other processes using a pipe or message holding place that is given a specific name. Unlike a regular pipe, a named pipe can be used by processes that do not have to share a common process origin and the message sent to the named pipe can be read by any authorized process that knows the name of the named pipe.

A named pipe is sometimes called a "FIFO" (first in, first out) because the first data written to the pipe is the first data that is read from it.

This was last updated in September 2005

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