Assignment 2 – Unix Processes

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COMP 3411: Operating Systems 1
Assignment 2 – Unix Processes (5%)

Through this assignment, you will learn how to use multiple threads in you UNIX
application programs. We will work on process creation and termination and the way a
process can be sent to the background, using a Small C program.
You must submit C files and screen shots that show how your program
works. Refer to the marking criteria at the end of this document.
1. exec() – The exec() family of functions replaces the current process image with
a new process image.
2. fork() – fork is an operation whereby a process creates a copy of itself
3. wait()-The wait() system call suspends execution of the current process until
one of its children terminates.
4. exit() – The function _exit() terminates the calling process “immediately”. Any
open file descriptors belonging to the process are closed;
5. kill() – The kill() system call can be used to send any signal to any process
group or process.
2 Assignment 2
TRU Open Learning
To do:
Q1. Get onto the TRU Linux machine and run the system calls, fork(), wait() and
Write a program named as “testOS.c” that executes the “cat –b –v –t filename”
command in the child process
Code for “testOS.c” to compile and run:
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <unistd.h>
int main (int args, char *argv[])
pid_t fork_return;
pid_t pid;
fork_return = fork();
if (fork_return==-1) {
// When fork() returns -1, an error has happened.
printf(“\nError creating process ” );
return 0;
if (fork_return==0) {
// When fork() returns 0, we are in the child process.
printf(“\n\nThe values are Child ID = %d, Parent ID=%d\n”, getpid(), getppid());
execl(“/bin/cat”, “cat”, “-b”, “-v”, “-t”, argv[1], NULL);
else {
// When fork() returns a positive number, we are in the parent process
// and the return value is the PID of the newly created child process.
printf(“\nChild Completes ” );
printf(“\nIn the Parent Process\n”);
printf(“Child Id = %d, Parent ID = %d\n”, getpid(), getppid());
return 0;
COMP 3411: Operating Systems 3
TRU Open Learning
a. Type the following program in Linux
b. Compile it using gcc as gcc testOS.c
c. Run the program as the following command: ./a.out filename where
filename is the name of a text file that you have created. The text file should
contain multiple lines of text. For example:
What is happening:
1. Your code will fork()
2. The child will use the execl to call cat and use the filename passed as an
argument on the command line
3. The parent will wait for the child to finish
4. Your program will print from both processes:
 The process id
 The parent id
Q2. Once the first program is typed, and executed, answer the following questions
a. If you try to print a message after the exec* call, does it print it? Why?
Why not?
b. Who is the parent of your executable program?
c. How would you change the code so that the child and parent run
Running a Process
When you start a process (run a command), there are two ways you can run it:
• Foreground Processes
• Background Processes
This is line one in my text file.
This is line two in my text file.
This is line three in my text file.
Linux provides many commands for manipulating text!
4 Assignment 2
TRU Open Learning
Foreground Processes:
By default, every process that you start runs in the foreground. It gets its input from
the keyboard and sends its output to the screen.
Background Processes:
A background process runs without being connected to your keyboard. If the
background process requires any keyboard input, it waits.
The advantage of running a process in the background is that you can run other
commands; you do not have to wait until it completes to start another!
The simplest way to start a background process is to add an ampersand ( &) at the
end of the command.
Stopping Processes:
If a process is running in background mode then first you would need to get its Job
ID using ps command and after that you can use kill command to kill the process as
$ps -f
6738 3662 0 10:23:03 pts/6 0:00 first_one amrood
6739 3662 0 10:22:54 pts/6 0:00 second_one amrood
3662 3657 0 08:10:53 pts/6 0:00 -ksh amrood 6892
3662 4 10:51:50 pts/6 0:00 ps -f
$kill 6738
Here kill command would terminate first_one process. If a process ignores a regular
kill command, you can use kill -9 followed by the process ID as follows:
$kill -9 6738
Q3. Execute and document the commands to:
a. Run a process in background
b. Run a process in foreground
c. Call the process from background to foreground
d. Kill the process
e. Show the process status
COMP 3411: Operating Systems 5
TRU Open Learning
Hand in:
– A print out of the programs;
– A printout of the output of commands (screen capture)
– Answers to questions listed
Assignment Marking Criteria Weighting
No syntax error: All requirements are fully implemented without syntax
errors. Submitted screen shots will be reviewed with source code. /5
Correct implementation: All requirements are correctly implemented
and produce correct results Submitted screen shots will be reviewed
with source code. Questions are answered correctly.
Total /10


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