Understanding Relationships The Linux Process Tree

Linux processes don't spring magically into being; they're started by other processes, via a mechanism known as forking or spawning—one process forks (or starts) another one, or spawns a thread. As a user or system administrator, you don't need to be too concerned with the details of how forking and spawning happen, but you do need to realize that this approach to process creation results in a series of relationships between processes. You can trace these relationships back to the first process the kernel runs, and hence to the kernel itself. Occasionally these relationships change or become mixed up, which can cause confusion or even problems.

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