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flock


SYNOPSIS

       flock [options] <file|directory> <command> [command args]
       flock [options] <file|directory> -c <command>
       flock [options] <file descriptor number>


DESCRIPTION

       This  utility  manages  flock(2) locks from within shell scripts or the
       command line.

       The first and second forms wrap the lock around the  executing  a  com-
       mand,  in a manner similar to su(1) or newgrp(1).  It locks a specified
       file or directory, which is created (assuming appropriate permissions),
       if  it does not already exist.  By default, if the lock cannot be imme-
       diately acquired, flock waits until the lock is available.

       The third form uses open file by file descriptor number.  See  examples
       how that can be used.


OPTIONS

       -s, --shared
              Obtain a shared lock, sometimes called a read lock.

       -x, -e, --exclusive
              Obtain  an  exclusive lock, sometimes called a write lock.  This
              is the default.

       -u, --unlock
              Drop a lock.  This is usually not  required,  since  a  lock  is
              automatically  dropped when the file is closed.  However, it may
              be required in special cases, for example if the  enclosed  com-
              mand group may have forked a background process which should not
              be holding the lock.

       -n, --nb, --nonblock
              Fail  rather  than  wait  if  the  lock  cannot  be  immediately
              acquired.  See the -E option for the exit code used.

       -w, --wait, --timeout seconds
              Fail  if  the  lock  cannot be acquired within seconds.  Decimal
              fractional values are allowed.  See the -E option for  the  exit
              code  used.  The zero number of seconds is interpreted as --non-
              block.

       -o, --close
              Close the file descriptor on which the lock is held before  exe-
              cuting  command .   This  is  useful  if  command spawns a child
              process which should not be holding the lock.

       -E, --conflict-exit-code number
              The exit code used when the -n option is in use,  and  the  con-
              flicting  lock exists, or the -w option is in use, and the time-
              out is reached. The default value is 1.
              fail.

       shell1> flock -s /tmp -c cat
       shell2> flock -s -w .007 /tmp -c echo; /bin/echo $?
              Set  shared  lock  to directory /tmp and the second command will
              not fail.  Notice that attempting to  get  exclusive  lock  with
              second command would fail.

       shell> flock -x local-lock-file echo 'a b c'
              Grab  the  exclusive  lock "local-lock-file" before running echo
              with 'a b c'.

       (
         flock -n 9 || exit 1
         # ... commands executed under lock ...
       ) 9>/var/lock/mylockfile
              The form is convenient inside shell scripts.  The mode  used  to
              open  the file doesn't matter to flock; using > or >> allows the
              lockfile to be created if it does not  already  exist,  however,
              write  permission  is  required.  Using < requires that the file
              already exists but only read permission is required.

       [ "${FLOCKER}" != "$0" ] && exec env FLOCKER="$0" flock -en  "$0"  "$0"
       "$@" || :
              This  is  useful  boilerplate code for shell scripts.  Put it at
              the top of the shell script you want to lock and it'll automati-
              cally  lock itself on the first run.  If the env var $FLOCKER is
              not set to the shell script that  is  being  run,  then  execute
              flock  and grab an exclusive non-blocking lock (using the script
              itself as the lock file) before re-execing itself with the right
              arguments.   It also sets the FLOCKER env var to the right value
              so it doesn't run again.


EXIT STATUS

       The command uses sysexits.h return values for everything  else  but  an
       options -n or -w failures which return either the value given by the -E
       option, or 1 by default.


AUTHOR

       H. Peter Anvin <hpa@zytor.com>


COPYRIGHT

       Copyright (C) 2003-2006 H. Peter Anvin.
       This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is
       NO  warranty;  not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
       PURPOSE.


SEE ALSO

       flock(2)


AVAILABILITY

       The flock command is part of the util-linux package  and  is  available
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