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cstream 2.7.3-1
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.\"Copyright 1998, 1999 Martin Cracauer
.\"See file COPYRIGHT in the distribution package for copying terms
.Dd March, 30, 1999
.Dt cstream 1
.Os
.Sh NAME
.Nm cstream
.Nd direct data streams, with bandwidth limiting, FIFO, audio,
duplication and extended reporting support.
.Sh SYNOPSIS
.Nm cstream
.Op Fl b Ar num
.Op Fl B Ar num
.Op Fl i Ar filename
.Op Fl I Ar string
.Op Fl l
.Op Fl n Ar num
.Op Fl o Ar filename
.Op Fl O Ar string
.Op Fl p Ar filename
.Op Fl t Ar num
.Op Fl T Ar num
.Op Fl v Ar num
.Op Fl V
.Op Ar filename
.Sh DESCRIPTION
.Nm Cstream
filters data streams, much like the UNIX tool 
.Xr dd 1 .
It has a more traditional commandline syntax, support for precise
bandwidth limiting and reporting and support for FIFOs. Data limits
and throughput rate calculation will work for files > 4 GB.
.Pp
.Nm 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 desired.
.Pp
Options:
.Bl -tag -width "-l num  "
.It Fl b Ar num
Set the block size used for read/write to
.Ar num .
The default is 8192 bytes.
.It Fl B Ar num
Buffer input up to
.Ar 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 simlilar that prefer few large writes of many small.
.It Fl c Ar num
Concurrent operation. Use a seperate process for outout. This is
especially useful in combination with the -B option.
.Bl -tag -compact -width "  "
.It 0 = use one process only (default)
.It 1 = read process will buffer
.It 2 = write process will buffer
.It 3 = both processes will buffer. 
In combination with a large buffer size this will often load your memory
heavily, everytime 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.
.El 
.It Fl i Ar num
.It Fl o Ar num
Set the file names to use for input or output, respectivly. 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
.Fl o
or
.Fl i
options and want stdin/stdout, specify the empty string, like this:
.Pp
cstream -i''
.Pp
If TCP support has been compiled in (default), hostname:portnumber
will try to connect to the specified host at the specified 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.
.It Fl I Ar string
.It Fl O Ar string
Specify the type of input and output file, respectivly. 
.Bl -tag -compact -width "  "
.It If string
includes 'f', a fifo will be created. 
.It If string
includes 'a', the file will be assumed to be a opensound-compatible
audio device and will be switched to CD-like settings.  
.It If string
includes 't', a copy of the stream will be sent to file descriptor 3.
.It If string
includes 'N', TCP will not be used for that file even if the name has a ":".
.El 
.It Fl l
Include line count in statistics.
.It Fl n Ar num
Limit the total amount of data to
.Ar num . 
If there is more input available, it will be discarded,
.Nm 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.
.Pp
.Ar num
may have a trailing 'k', 'm' or 'g' which means Kilobytes, Megabytes or
Gigabytes (where Kilo = 1024). This applies to all numeric options.
.It Fl p Ar filename
Write the process id of cstream to 
.Ar filename .
If cstream uses a seperate writer process (option -c), this is the pid
of the parent (reader) process.
.It Fl t Ar num
Limit the throughput of the data stream to
.Ar 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
positive, 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.
.It Fl T Ar num
Report throughput every num seconds.
.It Fl v Ar num
Set verbose level to
.Ar 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 seperate 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.
.It Fl V
Print version number to stdout and exit with 0.
.It Ar filename
A single filename as the last argument without an option switch will
be used as input file if -i has not been used.
.It Ic SIGUSR1
.It Ic SIGINFO
Sending SIGUSR1 (or SIGINFO, which is usually mappend to Control-T on
you keyboard) to cstream causes it to display throughput rates to
stderr. The stream will continue as if nothing happend.
.It Ic SIGUSR2
Exit and report throughput rates, if requested.
.It Ic SIGHUP
I found myself sending SIGHUP accidentially too often. But ignoring or
misusing SIGHUP is not an option for me. Thus, when
.Nm 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,
.Nm cstream
kills itself with SIGHUP.
.El
.Sh EXAMPLES
.Bl -tag -width indent
.It Ic "cstream -o tmpfile -v 1 -n 384m -i -"
Writes 384 Megabytes of unspecified data to file 
.Pa tmpfile
and display verbose throughput rate. Makes a good benchmark, the speed
of
.Pa /dev/null
varies too much from system to system.
.It Ic "cstream -i tmpfile -v 1 -n 384m -o -"
Read the same file back in and discard data.
.It Ic "cstream -b 2000  -t 10000 /var/log/messages"
Will display the file in a more or less watchable speed.
.It Ic "dump 0sf 400000 - / | cstream -v 1 -b 32768 -o /dev/rst0 -p pidfile"
.It Ic 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.
.It Ic "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 soundcard parameters using
ioctl(2). 
.It Ic "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.
.It Ic "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 stero play.
.It Ic "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
example). Then it will send the contents of myaudiofile.raw down the
TCP stream (for the previous audio example, typically a CD audiotrack
like you get from the tosha or cdparanoia utilities).
.It Ic "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 encouters 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 written 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.  
.It Ic 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 neccessary 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.
.It Ic "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. 
.Sh ERRORS
.Bl -tag -width "-l num  "
.It Exit code 0 means success.
.It Exit code 1 means a commandline syntax usage error.
.It Exit code 2 means other errors, especially system errors.
.El
.Sh Bugs
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.
.Pp 
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 bejond basic verification that it gets
some tests right.
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Xr dd 1 ,
.Xr mkfifo 2
.Sh HISTORY
.Nm cstream
was initially written by Martin Cracauer in 1998.
For updates and more information see
http://www.cons.org/cracauer/cstream.html