Inter Process Communication

Learn different types IPC i.e. Pipes, Sockets, Shared Memory and Message Queues with C example code and Linux commands

282 Participants 30 Minutes Beginner

Welcome to the 8085 Microprocessor Assembly Programming Lab, where we delve into low-level programming and computer architecture. In this hands-on experience, we'll master assembly programming through programs covering arithmetic, conditional branching, and iterative calculations. These skills are essential for embedded systems and computer engineering. Let's explore the world of assembly programming!



A solid understanding of operating systems, concurrent programming, and basic networking concepts is recommended before delving into the topic of Inter-Process Communication (IPC). Familiarity with programming languages like C, C++, or Python will be beneficial.



Inter-Process Communication (IPC):

Inter-Process Communication (IPC) refers to the methods and mechanisms that allow processes or threads to communicate and exchange data with each other in a multi-process or multi-threaded environment. IPC is essential for building complex systems that require collaboration and sharing of information between different parts of the application.


Types of IPC:

There are several methods of achieving IPC, each with its own advantages, disadvantages, and use cases:


  • Named Pipes: Also known as FIFOs, named pipes provide a way for processes to communicate using a shared pipe file. One process writes to the pipe, and another reads from it.

  • Anonymous Pipes: Used for communication between parent and child processes, anonymous pipes provide a unidirectional channel for data transmission.

Message Queues:

  • Processes can send messages to a queue, and other processes can retrieve those messages from the queue. Message queues provide a flexible way to exchange structured data between processes.

Shared Memory:

  • Processes share a segment of memory, allowing them to read and write data directly into the shared memory area. This method provides high-speed communication but requires careful synchronization.


  • Used for communication over a network or between processes on the same machine, sockets provide a powerful and flexible means of IPC. They support various protocols and data formats.

Semaphores and Mutexes:

  • While often used for synchronization, semaphores and mutexes can also be employed for IPC. They help control access to shared resources or signal events between processes.


  • Processes can send signals to each other to notify events or handle exceptions. Signals are commonly used for process management and error handling.


Advantages of IPC:

Inter-Process Communication offers several benefits:

Modularity: IPC enables different parts of a system to function independently while still communicating and cooperating effectively.

Efficiency: Processes can perform specialized tasks, leading to efficient resource utilization and better system performance.

Scalability: IPC allows for the development of distributed systems that can be scaled horizontally or vertically.


Challenges and Considerations:

  • Synchronization: Proper synchronization mechanisms are crucial to avoid race conditions and ensure data consistency.

  • Data Formats: Choosing appropriate data formats and serialization methods is important for compatibility between processes.

  • Security: Ensuring secure communication and preventing unauthorized access is a significant concern.


Refer to these to learn more:

  1. Inter Process Communication (IPC) - GeeksforGeeks



Understanding the various types of IPC methods empowers developers to choose the most suitable approach for their application's communication needs. It's essential to consider factors like performance, scalability, and synchronisation while implementing IPC to ensure efficient and reliable communication between processes.

Inter Process Comm


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