Explain the following in brief: Inter-Process Communication (IPC)

Mumbai University > Computer Engineering > SEM-5 > Operating System

Marks: 5

Year: May 2016


Inter-Process Communication:

  1. Inter-Process Communication (IPC) is the activity of sharing data across multiple and commonly specialized processes using communication protocols.

  2. Typically, applications using IPC are categorized as clients and servers.

  3. Client requests data and the Server responds to client requests.

  4. IPC has ability to communicate between two cooperating process.

  5. IPC is used in many contexts, such as a producer – consumer problem.

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Methods of IPC:

I) Pipes:

  1. It is simplest of all the IPCs.

  2. A pipe enables one way communication between a processes.

  3. When process terminates, pipe is removed automatically.


  1. FIFO Stands for First In First Out.

  2. It is also called as Named Pipes.

  3. A FIFO enables unidirectional communication between a processes.

III) Message Queue:

  1. It is used in implementation of Message Passing IPC.

  2. Message Queue will remain, even if the process have existed.

  3. It can be unidirectional or bidirectional.

IV) Shared Memory:

  1. It includes a memory segment which is shared by two or more processes.

  2. When a process creates a memory segment for IPC from its logical address space.

  3. Other process can attach that available space for communication.

  4. Shared Memory is one of the most simplest & Logical Implementation of IPC.

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