function::symfile - Linux


The function::symfile command in Linux is used to generate a symbolic file (/proc/self/fd) pointing to a file or socket at the specified path. Symbolic file is a type of soft link, but instead of pointing to another file on the file system, it points to a file descriptor in the process’s file table.


function::symfile [-b|--binding-path] <path> <fd_num>


  • -b, --binding-path: Specify the path where the symbolic file will be created. The default is /proc/self/fd.


Create a symbolic file at /tmp/myfile pointing to file descriptor 3:

function::symfile -b /tmp/myfile /proc/self/fd/3

Redirect the standard output of a command to the file pointed by symbolic file:

find . -name '*.txt' | function::symfile -b /tmp/txtfiles /proc/self/fd/1
cat /tmp/txtfiles

Common Issues

  • Permission denied: Ensure that the user has write permissions to the directory where the symbolic file is being created.
  • File descriptor not open: Verify that the file descriptor specified in <fd_num> is valid and open.


The function::symfile command can be used with other Linux commands to achieve various tasks:

  • Redirection: Redirect input/output streams to/from files or sockets using symbolic files.
  • Debugging: Inspect the contents of a file descriptor by creating a symbolic file and reading it.
  • Inter-process communication: Share file descriptors between processes by creating symbolic files.

Related Commands

  • readlink: Display the target of a symbolic link.
  • ln: Create a symbolic link.
  • strace: Trace system calls and display file descriptors used by a process.