What are computer processes?


Processes can be defined as programs that are being executed within a computer system. The computer program refers to a number of instructions that are issued by the users of the computers, while the processes are the execution of the instructions. One program can have several processes related to it. For instance, when one opens up the same program several times, this means that several processes are being utilized on the same program. Computer processes are named after the operating system that is running them. In this case therefore the names of the processes will differ depending on the operating system that is running them.

The processes enable users to run several programs at the same time within one computer so that the processor time is not wasted while waiting for input from a resource. Time-sharing will allow the various processes to keep changing from putting the execution of a task on halt to executing the task. The switch, from stopping one task to executing another, takes a very short time. Where many physical processors are in use within a computer, true simultaneous execution of many instructions can be done for the processes while time sharing is still being done so that more processes can be allowed to run on the system. This is referred to as multitasking of processes.

For one to understand their operating systems, they must understand the term processes. Some operating systems may allow processes to be further divided into threads. The threads allowed operate depending on the processes running them. Once the processes are terminated, the threads are also terminated. Processes that consume a lot of CPU power are likely to slow down the functioning of the system as a whole. Users can therefore close some processes in order to improve the speeds of executing other tasks. The processes should be closed correctly since data can be lost if the process action is not terminated as required. In addition, the processes should not be killed arbitrarily.

For further information on this topic visit the Process Library.

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