shlock man page on OpenDarwin

Man page or keyword search:  
man Server   3202 pages
apropos Keyword Search (all sections)
Output format
OpenDarwin logo
[printable version]

SHLOCK(1)		  BSD General Commands Manual		     SHLOCK(1)

     shlock — create or verify a lock file for shell scripts

     shlock -f lockfile [-p PID] [-u] [-v]

     The shlock command can create or verify a lock file on behalf of a shell
     or other script program.  When it attempts to create a lock file, if one
     already exists, shlock verifies that it is or is not valid.  If valid,
     shlock will exit with a non-zero exit code.  If invalid, shlock will
     remove the lock file, and create a new one.

     shlock uses the rename(2) system call to make the final target lock file,
     which is an atomic operation (i.e. "dot locking", so named for this mech‐
     anism's original use for locking system mailboxes).  It puts the process
     ID ("PID") from the command line into the requested lock file.

     shlock verifies that an extant lock file is still valid by using kill(2)
     with a zero signal to check for the existence of the process that holds
     the lock.

     The -f argument with lockfile is always required.

     The -p option with PID is given when the program is to create a lock
     file; when absent, shlock will simply check for the validity of the lock

     The -u option causes shlock to read and write the PID as a binary pid_t,
     instead of as ASCII, to be compatible with the locks created by UUCP.

     The -v option causes shlock to be verbose about what it is doing.

     A zero exit code indicates a valid lock file.

     if shlock -f ${lckfile} -p $$
     #	     do what required the lock
	     rm ${lckfile}
	     echo Lock ${lckfile} already held by `cat ${lckfile}`

     #!/bin/csh -f
     set lckfile=/tmp/foo.lock
     shlock -f ${lckfile} -p $$
     if ($status == 0) then
     #	     do what required the lock
	     rm ${lckfile}
	     echo Lock ${lckfile} already held by `cat ${lckfile}`

     The examples assume that the filesystem where the lock file is to be cre‐
     ated is writeable by the user, and has space available.

     shlock was written for the first Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
     software distribution, released in March 1986.  The algorithm was sug‐
     gested by Peter Honeyman, from work he did on HoneyDanBer UUCP.

     Erik E. Fair <>

     Does not work on NFS or other network filesystem on different systems
     because the disparate systems have disjoint PID spaces.

     Cannot handle the case where a lock file was not deleted, the process
     that created it has exited, and the system has created a new process with
     the same PID as in the dead lock file.  The lock file will appear to be
     valid even though the process is unrelated to the one that created the
     lock in the first place.  Always remove your lock files after you're

BSD				 June 29, 1997				   BSD

List of man pages available for OpenDarwin

Copyright (c) for man pages and the logo by the respective OS vendor.

For those who want to learn more, the polarhome community provides shell access and support.

[legal] [privacy] [GNU] [policy] [cookies] [netiquette] [sponsors] [FAQ]
Polarhome, production since 1999.
Member of Polarhome portal.
Based on Fawad Halim's script.
Vote for polarhome
Free Shell Accounts :: the biggest list on the net