Working with named pipes in Perl

The collegue of mine came across a problem that developed into an interesting solution that I decided to share with the world. Actually, I think the world is pretty much aware of the solution, but just in case that I will ever be looking for this solution again, I’ll have it handy here.

The task at hand was to do some processing of the logs on the fly. The syslog was configured to filter the appropriate logs into a named pipe and a Perl script was written to read from the said pipe and do all the processing.

The original piece of code looked something like this:

open (SYSLOG, "< $named_pipe") 
  or die "Couldn't open $named_pipe: $!\n";

while () {
  do_processing($_);
}

close(SYSLOG);

The problem came with syslog daemon restarts. Every time the syslog was stopped, the EOF was sent to the pipe and the script stopped reading it.

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