Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2459 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] GSOC 2008
  • From: Randall R Schulz <rschulz@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 14:01:23 -0700
  • Message-id: <200803201401.24054.rschulz@xxxxxxxxx>
On Thursday 20 March 2008 13:47, debayan wrote:
Ok please answer this, say i ping the broadcast address
(on my lan) on the terminal, how does the OS execute the ping? Does
it fork off new processes or does it use threads?

With very few exceptions, every command you issue to a shell causes the
creation (via fork, the _only_ way to create a new process in Unix
systems) of a new process to execute that command.

I am sure it is not sequential because it is pretty fast.

A simple program like "ping" is too simple to illustrate the use or
advantage of thread-based programming models.

Now if it is not sequential, i dont really need to use threads in my
program. I just have to execute a broadcast ping. The switch takes
care of the rest i think.

If you look at all the hardware and all the software in a modern,
general-purpose operating system (Linux, Windows, all the Unixes all
qualify as such) there are massive amounts of parallelism across all
the levels of its organization. Additionally, operating systems support
concurrency of the processes they manage even in the absence of enough
processors to run them all in parallel.

Were it not for all the hardware parallelism and software concurrency,
observed computer performance would be abysmal.

Randall Schulz
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