[C++] – A plain simple sample to write to and read from shared memory

September 15, 2015 – 7:52 am

If you have two programs ( or two threads ) running on the same computer, you might need a mechanism to share information amongst both programs or transfer values from one program to the other.

One of the possible solutions is “shared memory”. Most of us know shared memory only from server crashes and the like.

Here is a simple sample written in C to show, how you can use a shared memory object. The sample uses the BOOST libraries. BOOST libraries provide a very easy way of managing shared memory objects independent from the underlying operating system.

#include <boost/interprocess/managed_shared_memory.hpp>
using namespace boost::interprocess;
int main()
	// delete SHM if exists
	// create a new SHM object and allocate space
	managed_shared_memory managed_shm(open_or_create, "my_shm", 1024);
	// write into SHM
	// Type: int, Name: my_int, Value: 99
	int *i = managed_shm.construct("my_int")(99);
	std::cout << "Write  into shared memory: "<< *i << '\n';
	// write into SHM
	// Type: std::string, Name: my_string, Value: "Hello World"
	std::string *sz = managed_shm.construct("my_string")("Hello World");
	std::cout << "Write  into shared memory: "<< *sz << '\n' << '\n';
	// read INT from SHM
	std::pair<int*, std::size_t> pInt = managed_shm.find("my_int");
	if (pInt.first) {
		std::cout << "Read  from shared memory: "<< *pInt.first << '\n';
	else {
		std::cout << "my_int not found" << '\n';
	// read STRING from SHM
	std::pair<std::string*, std::size_t> pString = managed_shm.find("my_string");
	if (pString.first) {
		std::cout << "Read  from shared memory: "<< *pString.first << '\n';
	else {
		std::cout << "my_string not found" << '\n';

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