1. Technology
Linux / Unix Command: fork
Command Library

NAME

fork - create a child process

SYNOPSIS

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <unistd.h>

pid_t fork(void);

DESCRIPTION

fork creates a child process that differs from the parent process only in its PID and PPID, and in the fact that resource utilizations are set to 0. File locks and pending signals are not inherited.

Under Linux, fork is implemented using copy-on-write pages, so the only penalty incurred by fork is the time and memory required to duplicate the parent's page tables, and to create a unique task structure for the child.

RETURN VALUE

On success, the PID of the child process is returned in the parent's thread of execution, and a 0 is returned in the child's thread of execution. On failure, a -1 will be returned in the parent's context, no child process will be created, and errno will be set appropriately.

ERRORS

EAGAIN
fork cannot allocate sufficient memory to copy the parent's page tables and allocate a task structure for the child.
ENOMEM
fork failed to allocate the necessary kernel structures because memory is tight.

CONFORMING TO

The fork call conforms to SVr4, SVID, POSIX, X/OPEN, BSD 4.3.

SEE ALSO

clone(2), execve(2), vfork(2), wait(2)


Important: Use the man command (% man) to see how a command is used on your particular computer.

>> Linux/Unix Command Library

>> Shell Command Library

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.