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HP-UX 11i Internals by Chris Moore, Chris Cooper

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The Birth of a Process

The UNIX operating environment presents a special challenge when it comes to starting a new process. The only way for a new process to be created is for an existing process to ask the system to make a copy, a complete “clone” of the process environment (see Figure 9-1). A parent process is said to fork a “child” process: this is the computer equivalent of cellular mitosis in living organisms.

Figure 9-1. Parent Creates a Child

Once the fork is completed, there are two essentially identical process environments under kernel control. They have the same process logical memory view, identical file descriptors (to facilitate ...

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