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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
child process
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operating system A process created by another process (the
parent process). Each process may create many child
processes but will have only one parent process, except for
the very first process which has no parent. The first
process, called init in Unix, is started by the kernel
at boot time and never terminates. A child process inherits
most of its attributes, such as open files, from its parent.
In fact in Unix, a child process is created (using fork) as
a copy of the parent. The chid process can then overlay
itself with a different program (using exec) as required.