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Computer: What is fork?

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Asked by ambuj kumar, 27 Apr '12 04:06 pm
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Fork() is a concept that originated in the UNIX world. Running programs are called processes, and the only way to execute a new program is for a current program to fork() itself, thereby creating a separate process. The process that called fork() is known as the parent process, and the newly created process is known as the child process.
The child process, which begins its life as a copy of the parent process, can be "replaced".
In UNIX, the first program that is executed after booting finishes is the init process. This process will fork() and load the getty program over the child process, thereby creating a process which will prompt the user for a password.
Since a call to fork() creates a child process which is in essence the same as the parent process, it is necesarry to determine (from within the process) which process is the child, and which is the parent.
Upon sucesfull execution, the fork() call returns the child's Process ID in the parent process, and a 0 in the child proce ...more
Source: wiki
Answered by Ataur Rahman, 27 Apr '12 04:07 pm

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In computing, when a process forks, it creates a copy of itself. More generally, a fork in a multithreading environment means that a thread of execution is duplicated, creating a child thread from the parent thread.
Answered by Psycho, 27 Apr '12 04:08 pm

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