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fork(2) [freebsd man page]

FORK(2) 						      BSD System Calls Manual							   FORK(2)

NAME
fork -- create a new process LIBRARY
Standard C Library (libc, -lc) SYNOPSIS
#include <unistd.h> pid_t fork(void); DESCRIPTION
The fork() system call causes creation of a new process. The new process (child process) is an exact copy of the calling process (parent process) except for the following: o The child process has a unique process ID. o The child process has a different parent process ID (i.e., the process ID of the parent process). o The child process has its own copy of the parent's descriptors. These descriptors reference the same underlying objects, so that, for instance, file pointers in file objects are shared between the child and the parent, so that an lseek(2) on a descriptor in the child process can affect a subsequent read(2) or write(2) by the parent. This descriptor copying is also used by the shell to establish standard input and output for newly created processes as well as to set up pipes. o The child process' resource utilizations are set to 0; see setrlimit(2). o All interval timers are cleared; see setitimer(2). o The child process has only one thread, corresponding to the calling thread in the parent process. If the process has more than one thread, locks and other resources held by the other threads are not released and therefore only async-signal-safe functions (see sigaction(2)) are guaranteed to work in the child process until a call to execve(2) or a similar function. RETURN VALUES
Upon successful completion, fork() returns a value of 0 to the child process and returns the process ID of the child process to the parent process. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned to the parent process, no child process is created, and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error. ERRORS
The fork() system call will fail and no child process will be created if: [EAGAIN] The system-imposed limit on the total number of processes under execution would be exceeded. The limit is given by the sysctl(3) MIB variable KERN_MAXPROC. (The limit is actually ten less than this except for the super user). [EAGAIN] The user is not the super user, and the system-imposed limit on the total number of processes under execution by a single user would be exceeded. The limit is given by the sysctl(3) MIB variable KERN_MAXPROCPERUID. [EAGAIN] The user is not the super user, and the soft resource limit corresponding to the resource argument RLIMIT_NPROC would be exceeded (see getrlimit(2)). [ENOMEM] There is insufficient swap space for the new process. SEE ALSO
execve(2), rfork(2), setitimer(2), setrlimit(2), sigaction(2), vfork(2), wait(2) HISTORY
The fork() function appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX. BSD
May 31, 2013 BSD

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FORK(2) 						      BSD System Calls Manual							   FORK(2)

NAME
fork -- create a new process LIBRARY
Standard C Library (libc, -lc) SYNOPSIS
#include <unistd.h> pid_t fork(void); DESCRIPTION
fork() causes creation of a new process. The new process (child process) is an exact copy of the calling process (parent process) except for the following: o The child process has a unique process ID. o The child process has a different parent process ID (i.e., the process ID of the parent process). o The child process has its own copy of the parent's descriptors. These descriptors reference the same underlying objects, so that, for instance, file pointers in file objects are shared between the child and the parent, so that an lseek(2) on a descriptor in the child process can affect a subsequent read(2) or write(2) by the parent. This descriptor copying is also used by the shell to establish standard input and output for newly created processes as well as to set up pipes. o The child process' resource utilizations are set to 0; see setrlimit(2). In general, the child process should call _exit(2) rather than exit(3). Otherwise, any stdio buffers that exist both in the parent and child will be flushed twice. Similarly, _exit(2) should be used to prevent atexit(3) routines from being called twice (once in the parent and once in the child). In case of a threaded program, only the thread calling fork() is still running in the child processes. Child processes of a threaded program have additional restrictions, a child must only call functions that are async-signal-safe. Very few functions are asynchronously safe and applications should make sure they call exec(3) as soon as possible. RETURN VALUES
Upon successful completion, fork() returns a value of 0 to the child process and returns the process ID of the child process to the parent process. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned to the parent process, no child process is created, and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error. ERRORS
fork() will fail and no child process will be created if: [EAGAIN] The system-imposed limit on the total number of processes under execution would be exceeded. This limit is configuration-depen- dent. [EAGAIN] The limit RLIMIT_NPROC on the total number of processes under execution by this user id would be exceeded. [ENOMEM] There is insufficient swap space for the new process. SEE ALSO
execve(2), setrlimit(2), vfork(2), wait(2), pthread_atfork(3) STANDARDS
The fork() function conforms to ISO/IEC 9945-1:1990 (``POSIX.1''). HISTORY
A fork() system call appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX. BSD
June 10, 2004 BSD

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