Linux stream definition

Contributor(s): Meredith Courtemanche

A Linux stream is data traveling in a Linux shell from one process to another through a pipe, or from one file to another as a redirect.

Streams can travel through several Linux stream-pipe connections of incremental commands to accomplish administrative tasks. Characters in Linux streams are either standard input (STDIN) or output (STDOUT) from a file or process, or error output streams from commands given to the Linux shell (STDERR). In the Linux command line interface, operators like pipe (|) and redirect (< and >) control input and output streams. 

Streams are created by entering characters from a keyboard. Different Linux commands, such as sed, allow users to manipulate the stream text, in this case editing the stream.

This was first published in February 2014

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