cstream(1) BSD General Commands Manual cstream(1)NAMEcstream — direct data streams, with bandwidth limiting, FIFO, audio,
duplication and extended reporting support.
SYNOPSIScstream [-b num] [-B num] [-i filename] [-I string] [-l] [-n num]
[-o filename] [-O string] [-p filename] [-t num] [-T num]
[-v num] [-V] [filename]
Cstream filters data streams, much like the UNIX tool dd(1). It has a
more traditional commandline syntax, support for precise bandwidth limit‐
ing and reporting and support for FIFOs. Data limits and throughput rate
calculation will work for files > 4 GB.
Cstream reads from the standard input and writes to the standard output,
if no filenames are given. It will also 'generate' or 'sink' data if
-b num Set the block size used for read/write to num. The default is
-B num Buffer input up to num bytes before writing. The default is the
blocksize. It is an error to set this to anything below the
blocksize. Useful when writing tapes and similar that prefer
few large writes of many small.
-c num Concurrent operation. Use a separate process for output. This
is especially useful in combination with the -B option.
0 = use one process only (default)
1 = read process will buffer
2 = write process will buffer
3 = both processes will buffer.
In combination with a large buffer size this will often
load your memory heavily, every time the reader transfers
the buffer it collected to the writer. If you use -c 3 and
have a buffer size of 128 Megabytes 256 MB of memory will
be touched at once.
-o num Set the file names to use for input or output, respectively. If
the output file name is "-", data will just be discarded. If
the input file name is "-", data will be generated 'out of the
void'. If these options aren't given, stdin/stout will be used.
If you need to give -o or -i options and want stdin/stdout,
specify the empty string, like this:
If TCP support has been compiled in (default), hostname:port‐
number will try to connect to the specified host at the speci‐
fied port and :portnumber will open a TCP socket on the local
machine and wait for a connection to arrive. SECURITY NOTE:
cstream includes no mechanism to restrict the hosts that may
connect to this port. Unless your machine has other network
filters, anyone will be able to connect.
Specify the type of input and output file, respectively.
includes 'f', a fifo will be created.
includes 'a', the file will be assumed to be a opensound-
compatible audio device and will be switched to CD-like
includes 't', a copy of the stream will be sent to file
includes 'N', TCP will not be used for that file even if
the name has a ":".
-l Include line count in statistics.
-n num Limit the total amount of data to num. If there is more input
available, it will be discarded, cstream will exit after the
limit has been reached. If there is less input, the limit will
not be reached and no error will be signaled.
num may have a trailing 'k', 'm' or 'g' which means Kilobytes,
Megabytes or Gigabytes (where Kilo = 1024). This applies to all
Write the process id of cstream to filename. If cstream uses a
separate writer process (option -c), this is the pid of the
parent (reader) process.
-t num Limit the throughput of the data stream to num bytes/second.
Limiting is done at the input side, you can rely on cstream not
accepting more than this rate. If the number you give is posi‐
tive, cstream accumulates errors and tries to keep the overall
rate at the specified value, for the whole session. If you give
a negative number, it is an upper limit for each read/write
system call pair. In other words: the negative number will
never exceed that limit, the positive number will exceed it to
make good for previous underutilization.
-T num Report throughput every num seconds.
-v num Set verbose level to num. By default, it is set to 0, which
means no messages are displayed as long as no errors occur. A
value of 1 means that total amount of data and throughput will
be displayed at the end of program run. A value of 2 means the
transfer rate since the end of the first read/write pair will
also be reported (useful when there is an initial delay). A
value of 3 means there will also be separate measurements for
read and write. This option is resource-consuming and currently
isn't implemented. A value of 4 means that notices about each
single read/write will be displayed. High values include all
message types of lower values.
-V Print version number to stdout and exit with 0.
filename A single filename as the last argument without an option switch
will be used as input file if -i has not been used.
SIGINFO Sending SIGUSR1 (or SIGINFO, which is usually mapped to Con‐
trol-T on you keyboard) to cstream causes it to display
throughput rates to stderr. The stream will continue as if
SIGUSR2 Exit and report throughput rates, if requested.
SIGHUP I found myself sending SIGHUP accidentally too often. But
ignoring or misusing SIGHUP is not an option for me. Thus, when
cstream received SIGHUP, it will wait 5 seconds for another
SIGHUP, to give users a chance to correct a possible mistake.
If no additional SIGHUP is received, cstream kills itself with
EXAMPLEScstream-o tmpfile -v 1 -n 384m -i -
Writes 384 Megabytes of unspecified data to file tmpfile and dis‐
play verbose throughput rate. Makes a good benchmark, the speed
of /dev/null varies too much from system to system.
cstream-i tmpfile -v 1 -n 384m -o -
Read the same file back in and discard data.
cstream-b 2000 -t 10000 /var/log/messages
Will display the file in a more or less watchable speed.
dump 0sf 400000 - / | cstream-v 1 -b 32768 -o /dev/rst0 -p pidfile
kill -USR1 `cat pidfile`
Write the output from dump(1) to tape. Each time the signal is
sent, the throughput and data rate so far will be displayed.
cstream-t 176400 -i /dev/dsp0 -I f -o -
Makes kind of a soundcard emulator which may be used to test
audio applications that need something to write to that limits
the data rate as a real soundcard does. This obviously doesn't
work when the application tries to write data using mmap(2) and
the application has to ignore errors when it tries to set sound‐
card parameters using ioctl(2).
cstream-t 176400 -i /dev/dsp0 -I f -o /dev/dsp1 -O f
Similar soundcard emulator, except that it allows you to grab the
data your applications sends to it from the other fifo, while
still having precise timing.
cstream-Oa -o /dev/dsp0 myhost.mydomain.com:17324
Connects port 3333 on host myhost.mydomain.com and whatever data
it finds there will be sent to the soundcard, with appropriate
settings for CD quality stereo play.
cstream-i myaudiofile.raw -o :17324
This will open a TCP server on port 17324 and waits until someone
connects (for example, the commandline from the previous exam‐
ple). Then it will send the contents of myaudiofile.raw down the
TCP stream (for the previous audio example, typically a CD audio
track like you get from the tosha or cdparanoia utilities).
cstream-OD -o myfile
Write to file myfile with O_DIRECT. That usually means that the
filesystem buffer cache will not try to cache this file. You can
use that to prevent copying operations from eating up physical
memory. Note that when cstream encounters a write error it will
switch the output file from O_DIRECT to a normal file and write
all further blocks without O_DIRECT if writes without O_DIRECT
succeed. In practice that usually means that your last block, if
not a multiple of the filesystem block size, will still be writ‐
ten into the file (the maximum amount of data written without
O_DIRECT is your blocksize minus one). That way cstream ensures
that the output file has the length of the input, however odd the
length was and no matter what restrictions your OS places on
O_DIRECT output. Again, cstream will *not* pad the output to the
block size, you get the same file and file size as if not using
O_DIRECT, at the cost of switching to non-O_DIRECT whenever a
block is not the right size.
cstream-i :3333 | dd obs=8192 | ./cstream -omyfile -v7 -OD
This is what you need to do to buffer TCP input, so that the last
cstream will not switch away from O_DIRECT prematurely because of
short reads. If your input can do short reads (e.g. from TCP),
and you want to ensure that O_DIRECT stays in effect, you need a
buffer between the TCP stream and the O_DIRECT stream. Since
cstream does not yet support different input and output block
sizes, dd is suitable here. Note that this is only necessary if
the OS requires multiples of the filesystem block size for
O_DIRECT. At the time of this writing this construct is needed
on Linux for using TCP streams with O_DIRECT, but it is not
needed on FreeBSD.
cstream-OS -o myfile
Writes to file myfile with O_SYNC. This means by the time the
system call returns the data is known to be on disk. This is not
the same thing as O_DIRECT. O_DIRECT can do its own buffering,
with O_SYNC there is no buffering at all. At the time of this
writing, O_SYNC on both Linux and FreeBSD is very slow (1/5th to
1/10th of normal write) and O_DIRECT is reasonably fast (1/4th to
1/2 of normal write). You can combined O_SYNC and O_DIRECT.
Exit code 0 means success.
Exit code 1 means a commandline syntax usage error.
Exit code 2 means other errors, especially system errors.
There should be an option to begin writing directly after the first read
ended and then fill the buffer with reads in the background. Right now
writing will not begin before the reader has filled the buffer completely
for the first time.
Not a bug: the code to do O_DIRECT is reasonably sophisticated. It will
fall back to normal I/O on errors. But before doing that it knows about
both filesystem blocksize requirements (will default I/O blocksize to
whatever the filesystem of the output file is in) and page alignment
requirements (I/O will happen from a page-aligned buffer). However, the
combination of concurrent read/writes (-c options) and O_DIRECT has not
been tested beyond basic verification that it gets some tests right.
SEE ALSOdd(1), mkfifo(2)HISTORYcstream was initially written by Martin Cracauer in 1998. For updates
and more information see http://www.cons.org/cracauer/cstream.html
BSD March, 30, 1999 BSD