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Unix Domain Sockets

Unix domain (UD) sockets are an inter-process communication (IPC) mechanism that allows bidirectional data exchange between processes running on the same platform. They are sometimes called local sockets. Communication occurs entirely within the operating system kernel. The closest IPC mechanism to a UD socket is probably a Unix pipe or a Linux Netlink socket. Note that the term domain in UD has nothing to do with DNS, NIS, LDAP, or Active Directory, and instead refers to the file system. A UD socket is uniquely identified by a filesystem pathname. Obviously, both processes have to agree on the pathname for them