Google and Python

Stefan Behnel stefan.behnel-n05pAM at
Tue Sep 25 09:50:26 CEST 2007

Hendrik van Rooyen wrote:
> "Nick Craig-Wood" <> wrote:
>> Passing file descriptors between processes is one of those things I've
>> always meant to have a go with, but the amount of code (in Advanced
>> Programming in the Unix Environment) needed to implement it is rather
>> disconcerting!  A python module to do it would be great!
> I must be missing something here.
> What is the advantage of passing the open file rather than just the
> fully qualified file name and having the other process open the
> file itself?

A "file descriptor" under Unix is not necessarily an open file that you can
find on the hard-disk. It might also be a socket connection or a pipe, or it
might be a file that was opened or created with specific rights or in an
atomic step (like temporary files).

Many things are (or look like or behave like) files in Unix, that's one of its
real beauties.


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