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aclient - Man Page


acl (done) A standard Client
                   (Rev. 05-March-2010)


aclient [-%] [-b blocksize] [-bsk socket_size] [-p prompt] host service [-U name] [-Ppassword] [command...]


aclient is a client application of the sk(3) functions. It  transmits commands to aserver(1) running the specified service on the specified host, and receives the result.


 asks to encode the shell-specific characters < > & ? * [ ] ( ) ; (see also the Escaping conventions below)
-b blocksize
 defines the size of logical blocks read from  the standard input and transferred to the server. The default is 4k.
-bsk socket_size
 defines the physical size of socket blocks used in data transmission. The default can be specified via the SK_bsk environment variable; if SK_bsk is not defined, the  default depends on the socket standards, generally 4K.
-p prompt  defines the prompt to be displayed in case of  interactive mode. The default is


host  designates the name of the host where the specified  service is available.

service  designates the service, either as a name appearing  in the /etc/services(5) file, or as a number in the 1024-2047  range. The same service must be used by aserver.

 specifies a name that can be recognized by the  Server (see sk(3), authorisation file).
 specifies the password associated to the -U name (see sk(3), authorisation file).

command  specifies what has to be executed by service  at host; a semi-colon (;) may be used as a separate  argument to delimit commands. When no command is given as  arguments, aclient waits for commands in the standard input.

Sending or Capturing the Data

Data are normally transferred via the standard input and output. A first solution therefore consists in specifying the command for  data transfer as options, e.g.

aclient host service_file Write /tmp/copy < myinput

There are redirection possibilities but unlike sh(1) these  redirections must be specified before the command. The example  above could be executed as:

aclient host service_file
host/service_file> <myinput Write /tmp/copy
host/service_file> ...

Note that file names may be replaced by pipes for names starting  with the | character; if blanks are embedded, the command have to  be quoted. For instance, to write the list of files to a foreign  file: aclient host service_file
host/service_file><"|ls -l" Write /tmp/copy
host/service_file> ...

Escaping Conventions

Since aclient connects to aserver where a shell is  executed, a special convention (similar to http queries) is available  to escape special characters and define arguments with special  characters to the server program. This convention uses %{...} to define parameters with special characters (like blank, asterisks, etc).

Environment Variables

SK_bsk is used by aclient as the default -bsk option.


  1. Query a catalog on cocat1:
    aclient cocat1 1660 gsc1.2 -c 123.12-78.12 -r 1.5 -sr
  2. Copy a file to cocat1
    aclient cocat1 1660 save < /etc/passwd
    returns the name of the remote file
  3. List remote files having a name wich contains an asterisk:
    aclient cocat1 1660 ls *%{*}*
  4. Find the star ** STT 82AA' in the last version of edited  simbad:
    aclient -% newviz 1660 sim.arg 0 "** STT 82AA'"
    which gives the same result as
    aclient newviz 1660 sim.arg 0 "%** STT 82AA'"
  5. Rewind the tape /dev/nrst0 and get its status on the foreign host using the rtape(4) service.
    aclient foreign rtape setenv TAPE /dev/nrst0 \; mt stat \; mt rew \; mt stat

See Also

aserver(1) pipe(2) sk(3) services(5)

Referenced By