FORK(2)                   NetBSD Programmer's 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:

           +   The child process has a unique process ID.

           +   The child process has a different parent process ID (i.e., the
               process ID of the parent process).

           +   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 de-
               scriptor 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.

           +   The child process' resource utilizations are set to 0; see
               setrlimit(2).

RETURN VALUES
     Upon successful completion, fork() returns a value of 0 to the child pro-
     cess and returns the process ID of the child process to the parent pro-
     cess.  Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned to the parent process, no
     child process is created, and the global variable errno is set to indi-
     cate 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-de-
               pendent.

     [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), wait(2)

STANDARDS
     The fork() function conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 (``POSIX'').

HISTORY
     A fork() system call appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

NetBSD 1.6                       June 4, 1993                                1

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©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <christia@softlab.ntua.gr>
©1996-2014 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen