A inter-process communication library for transmitting binary data over a stream.

Upstream URL


Mark Cox


Simplified BSD License variant

Basic Binary IPC

The basic binary IPC system provides an interface for performing inter process communication using IPv4 or local streams. The interface follows a non-blocking pattern which allows applications to communicate either synchronously or asynchronously.

The interface has been implemented for the following platforms:

  • Linux (poll and epoll)
  • OSX (poll and kqueue)
  • FreeBSD (poll and kqueue)
  • Windows 8 (Overlapped I/O)

The complete documentation to this system can be found in doc/basic-binary-ipc.html or online.

The only requirement for this system is CFFI.


The file examples/echo-example.lisp contains an example echo server and echo client. The code for the server and client is shown below.

The echo server can be started using

(load "examples/echo-example.lisp")
(echo-example:run-server 12345)

The echo client can be executed using

(load "examples/echo-example.lisp")
(echo-example:send-to-server "Hello World" basic-binary-ipc:+ipv4-loopback+ 12345)


(defun run-server (port &optional (host-address +ipv4-loopback+))
  (check-type port (unsigned-byte 16))
  (check-type host-address string)
  (with-socket (server (make-ipv4-tcp-server host-address port :reuse-address t))
       :with buffer-size := 10000
       :with buffer := (make-array buffer-size :element-type '(unsigned-byte 8))       
       :for result := (poll-socket server 'connection-available-p 10)
       :when result
       (with-socket (client (accept-connection server))
            :for attempts :from 0 :below 3
            :for data-available := (poll-socket client 'data-available-p 10)
            :when data-available
            (let ((bytes-read (read-from-stream client buffer)))
              (write-to-stream client buffer :end bytes-read)))))))


(defun send-to-server (string host-address port)
  (check-type string string)
  (check-type host-address string)
  (check-type port (unsigned-byte 16))
  (with-socket (client (connect-to-ipv4-tcp-server host-address port))
    (unless (poll-socket client 'connection-succeeded-p 10)
      (error "Failed to connect to address ~A:~d" host-address port))

    (write-to-stream client (babel:string-to-octets string))
       :for attempts :from 0 :below 3
       :for data-available := (poll-socket client 'data-available-p 10)
       :until data-available
       :finally (unless data-available
                  (error "Echo server not working.")))
    (let* ((buffer (make-array 100000 :element-type '(unsigned-byte 8)))
           (bytes-read (read-from-stream client buffer)))
      (babel:octets-to-string buffer :end bytes-read))))

Dependencies (3)

  • bordeaux-threads
  • cffi
  • lisp-unit

Dependents (0)

    • GitHub
    • Quicklisp