Processes and Programs
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Supposing you were to take a snapshot of a running UNIX system; what would you see? A number of users sit at terminals interacting with the system via their VDU screens; a tape is moving and the disk heads are active in response to I/O requests. Unseen to all, a number of background tasks are performing various functions, such as distributing electronic mail or syncing the kernel I/O buffers. The instantaneous state of all but the most idle of systems is a combined interaction of many separate activities. Within the UNIX environment each of these activities is associated with an entity called a process.
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- B. W. Kernighan & D. M. Ritchie (1978), The C Programming Language, Prentice-Hall Software Series.Google Scholar