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SHLOCK(1)                   General Commands Manual                  SHLOCK(1)

NAME
     shlock -- create or verify a lock file for shell scripts

SYNOPSIS
     shlock [-du] [-p PID] -f lockfile

DESCRIPTION
     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 link(2) system call to make the final target lock file,
     which is an atomic operation (i.e. "dot locking", so named for this
     mechanism'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 -d option causes shlock to be verbose about what it is doing.

     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
     file.

     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.

EXIT STATUS
     A zero exit code indicates a valid lock file.

EXAMPLES
   BOURNE SHELL
     #!/bin/sh
     lckfile=/tmp/foo.lock
     if shlock -f ${lckfile} -p $$
     then
     #       do what required the lock
             rm ${lckfile}
     else
             echo Lock ${lckfile} already held by `cat ${lckfile}`
     fi

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

     The examples assume that the file system where the lock file is to be
     created is writable by the user, and has space available.

SEE ALSO
     flock(1)

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

AUTHORS
     Erik E. Fair <fair@clock.org>

BUGS
     Does not work on NFS or other network file system 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
     done.

NetBSD 7.1.2                   November 2, 2012                   NetBSD 7.1.2