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Andrew Johnstone's Blog:
Lock Files in PHP & Bash
January 05, 2010 @ 12:40:39

Andrew Johnstone, inspired by a previous post on file locking to avoid cron job overlaps, as posted his own method and give a few more examples of how it can be done.

In order for a lock to work correctly it must handle, Atomicity / Race Conditions, and Signaling. I use the following bash script to create locks for crontabs and ensure single execution of scripts.

His bash script looks at the processes currently running and checks to be sure there's not already one there. If not, it takes the script given and executes an instance. If the process has finished running but the lock file is still there, it removes it and moves on to the execute. He includes a few examples of how to use it and the code for a PHP class that makes it easy to check if something's running, locked or what the current signal/status of the process is.

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