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Manual Pages  — FORK

NAME

fork – create a new process

CONTENTS

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:

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 AT&T v6 .

FORK (2) May 1, 2015

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