Course Description

This is an in-depth training course for software developers on UNIX system programming facilities. Learn how to develop sophisticated multi-process applications using system calls and library routines.



4 days


Target Audience

Application developers who will be writing advanced programs on UNIX.

Please contact us for further details.


Course Prerequisites

Fundamentals of UNIX as well as strong C programming skills are required for this course. These skills are taught in the following GuruTeam courses (or similar training programmes)

If you have any questions or doubts as to whether you meet the pre-requisites for this course, or indeed are wondering which course best suits you, please contact us to discuss your suitability for course attendance.


Suggested Follow on Courses

There are a number of options of suitable follow-on courses, depending on your business needs. Please Contact Us for further details.


Course Content

1. Course Introduction

Course Objectives

Course Overview

Using the Workbook

Suggested References

2. UNIX Standards

Brief History of UNIX

AT&T and Berkeley UNIX Systems

Major Vendors

What is a Standard?

What is POSIX?

Other Industry Specs and Standards

Library vs. System-Level Functions

3. Files and Directories

Basic File Types

File Descriptors

The open() and creat() Functions

Keeping Track of Open Files

File Table Entries

The v-node Structure

The fcntl Function

The fcntl() Function – with F_DUPFD Command

File Attributes

The access() Function

link(), unlink(), remove(), and rename() Functions

Functions to Create, Remove, and Read Directories

4. System I/O

Standard I/O vs System I/O

System I/O Calls

File and Record Locking

5. Processes

What is a Process?

Process Creation and Termination

Process Memory Layout

Dynamic Memory Allocation

Accessing Environment Variables

Real and Effective User IDs

6. Process Management

The Difference Between Programs and Processes

The fork() System Function

Parent and Child

The exec System Function

Current Image and New Image

The wait() and waitpid() Function

Interpreter files and exec

7. Basic Interprocess Communication: Pipes

Interprocess Communication



8. Signals

What is a Signal?

Types of Signals

Signal Action

Blocking Signals from Delivery

The sigaction() Function

Signal Sets and Operations

Sending a Signal to Another Process

Blocking Signals with sigprocmask()

Scheduling and Waiting for Signals

Restarting System Calls (SVR4)

Signals and Reentrancy

9. Introduction to Pthreads

Processes and Threads

Creating Threads


Overview of Thread Architectures

Processes Versus Threads

The Pthreads API

Thread Termination

Joining Threads

Detaching Threads

Passing Arguments to Threads

10. Pthreads Synchronization

The Sharing Problem


Creating and Initializing Mutexes

Using Mutexes

Additional Synchronization Requirement

Using Condition Variables

11. Overview of Client/Server Programming

Designing Applications for a Distributed Environment

Clients and Servers

Ports and Services

Connectionless vs. Connection-Oriented Servers

Stateless vs. Stateful Servers

Concurrency Issues

12. The Berkeley Sockets API

Berkeley Sockets

Data Structures of the Sockets API

Socket System Calls

Socket Utility Functions

13. TCP Client Design

Algorithms Instead of Details

Client Architecture

Generic Client/Server Model – TCP

The TCP Client Algorithm

14. TCP Server Design

General Concepts

Iterative Servers

Concurrent Servers

Performance Consideration

An Iterative Server Design

A Concurrent Server Design

15. System V Interprocess Communication

System V IPC

Elements Common to msg, shm, and sem Facilities

The Three System V IPC Facilities

IPC via Message Queues

IPC via Shared Memory

Coordinating the Use of Shared Memory Segments

Semaphore Sets – emget()

Semaphore Sets – semctl()

Semaphore Sets – the semop() calls

Shared Memory Coordination Using Semaphores

Commands for IPC Facility Handling – ipcs and ipcrm

16. Appendix A – Date and Time Functions


Time Representations

Decoding Calendar Time

Shorthand Functions – asctime(), ctime()

Formatting Date and Time Strings

Process Times

The Difference Between clock() and times()

Berkeley High Resolution Timers

17. Appendix B – Standard I/O

Standard I/O Calls to manipulate streams

Standard I/O Calls which perform character I/O

Standard I/O Calls which perform string I/O

Standard I/O Calls Which Perform Formatted I/O

Standard I/O Calls Which Perform Binary I/O


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