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The GNU Awk User's Guide

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5.7.3 Special Files for Network Communications

Starting with version 3.1 of gawk, awk programs can open a two-way TCP/IP connection, acting as either a client or a server. This is done using a special file name of the form:


The protocol is one of `tcp', `udp', or `raw', and the other fields represent the other essential pieces of information for making a networking connection. These file names are used with the `|&' operator for communicating with a coprocess (see section Two-Way Communications with Another Process). This is an advanced feature, mentioned here only for completeness. Full discussion is delayed until Using gawk for Network Programming.

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