Bash - Shells

October 23, 2021 12:55

The command itself

mkdir -p /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/; mkfifo /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN; nohup bash -c "while [ -e /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN ]; do cat /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN; sleep 0.4; done | bash -c \"echo \$ > /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/PID; [SESSION_COMMAND]; echo \"End\" > /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN; rm /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN\"" > /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/OUT 2>&1 </dev/null &

Make sure to fill in the following placeholders!

  • [SESSION_NAME] An unique name of the session - maybe use uuidgen.
  • [SESSION_COMMAND] The command to run inside the session.


The above command will create a new folder on /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/ with a pipes IN and a file OUT in it. You can e.g. pipe a command into the session with echo "help" >> /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN (example if session is running a bash) and receive the result by reading the /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/OUT file. To constanty monitor the result use e.g. tail -f /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/OUT. Also a file called PID is created, containing the process id of the parent bash - this is to detect whether the session is still alive.

How it works

Lets go over the command and look at every detail of it:

  • mkdir -p /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/; mkfifo /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN; Prepare the folder for the session and also create the input pipe.
  • nohup bash -c "..." > /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/OUT Create the parent bach and pipe the output to the file…
    • while [ -e /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN ]; do cat /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN; sleep 0.4; done ... Try to read the pipe and only echo the line if it is completed with a newline char \n.
    • ... | bash -c \"echo \$ > /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/PID; [SESSION_COMMAND]; echo \"End\" > /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN; rm /tmp/[SESSION_NAME]/IN\"
      1. Put the parents bash PID into the sessions folder…
      2. Take the input of the command before and pipe it into the executed session command.
      3. Just output one more line, so the while loop gets unblocked and the cat command ends…
      4. Remove the input pipe (signal for while to end, also makes sure no program could freeze, because it tries to write into a dangling pipe).

Possible upgrades

  • Move name and the command into variables, so they can be requested or updated on-the-fly…