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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
parent process
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operating system The Unix process that created one or
more other processes.
Every process except process 0 is created when another process
executes the fork system call. The process that invoked
fork is the parent process, and the newly created process is
the child process. Every process has one parent process,
but can have many child processes.
The kernel identifies each process by its processidentifier (PID). Process 0 is a special process that is
created when the system boots; after forking a child process
(process 1), process 0 becomes the swapper process. Process
1, known as init, is the ancestor of every other process in
the system and enjoys a special relationship with them.