In most operating systems each process runs in its own protected memory space; this means that a process cannot access the memory used by another process (this would cause a lot of problems with both system stability and data integrity). However, it is often useful and/or neccessary to be able to let processes communicate with each other in a controlled manner. This is called inter-process communcation or IPC.

The methods of IPC vary, but the following are the ones usually referred to as System V IPC:

Two other common techiques are

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