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    Command:

    vfork

    
    
    

    SYNOPSIS

           #include <sys/types.h>
           #include <unistd.h>
    
           pid_t vfork(void);
    
       Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
    
           vfork():
               Since glibc 2.12:
                   _BSD_SOURCE ||
                       (_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500 ||
                           _XOPEN_SOURCE && _XOPEN_SOURCE_EXTENDED) &&
                       !(_POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700)
               Before glibc 2.12:
                   _BSD_SOURCE || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500 ||
                   _XOPEN_SOURCE && _XOPEN_SOURCE_EXTENDED
    
    
    

    DESCRIPTION

       Standard description
           (From POSIX.1) The vfork() function has the  same  effect  as  fork(2),
           except that the behavior is undefined if the process created by vfork()
           either modifies any data other than a variable of type  pid_t  used  to
           store  the  return  value from vfork(), or returns from the function in
           which vfork() was called, or calls any other function  before  success-
           fully calling _exit(2) or one of the exec(3) family of functions.
    
       Linux description
           vfork(), just like fork(2), creates a child process of the calling pro-
           cess.  For details and return value and errors, see fork(2).
    
           vfork() is a special case of clone(2).  It is used to create  new  pro-
           cesses  without  copying the page tables of the parent process.  It may
           be useful in performance-sensitive applications where a child  is  cre-
           ated which then immediately issues an execve(2).
    
           vfork()  differs  from  fork(2) in that the calling thread is suspended
           until the child terminates (either normally, by  calling  _exit(2),  or
           abnormally,  after  delivery  of a fatal signal), or it makes a call to
           execve(2).  Until that point, the child shares all memory with its par-
           ent,  including  the stack.  The child must not return from the current
           function or call exit(3), but may call _exit(2).
    
           As with fork(2), the child process created by vfork()  inherits  copies
           of  various of the caller's process attributes (e.g., file descriptors,
           signal dispositions, and current working directory); the  vfork()  call
           differs  only  in  the  treatment  of  the  virtual  address  space, as
           described above.
    
           Signals sent to the parent arrive after the child releases the parent's
           memory (i.e., after the child terminates or calls execve(2)).
    
    
    
    

    CONFORMING TO

           4.3BSD;  POSIX.1-2001  (but marked OBSOLETE).  POSIX.1-2008 removes the
           specification of vfork().
    
           The requirements put on vfork() by the standards are weaker than  those
           put  on  fork(2),  so an implementation where the two are synonymous is
           compliant.  In particular, the programmer cannot  rely  on  the  parent
           remaining blocked until the child either terminates or calls execve(2),
           and cannot rely on any specific behavior with respect to shared memory.
    
    
    

    NOTES

           Some  consider the semantics of vfork() to be an architectural blemish,
           and the 4.2BSD man page stated: "This system call  will  be  eliminated
           when  proper  system  sharing mechanisms are implemented.  Users should
           not depend on the memory sharing semantics of vfork() as  it  will,  in
           that case, be made synonymous to fork(2)."  However, even though modern
           memory management hardware has  decreased  the  performance  difference
           between  fork(2)  and  vfork(), there are various reasons why Linux and
           other systems have retained vfork():
    
           *  Some performance-critical applications require the small performance
              advantage conferred by vfork().
    
           *  vfork()  can be implemented on systems that lack a memory-management
              unit (MMU), but  fork(2)  can't  be  implemented  on  such  systems.
              (POSIX.1-2008 removed vfork() from the standard; the POSIX rationale
              for the posix_spawn(3) function notes that that function, which pro-
              vides functionality equivalent to fork(2)+exec(3), is designed to be
              implementable on systems that lack an MMU.)
    
       Linux notes
           Fork handlers established using pthread_atfork(3) are not called when a
           multithreaded  program  employing  the  NPTL  threading  library  calls
           vfork().  Fork handlers are called in this case in a program using  the
           LinuxThreads  threading library.  (See pthreads(7) for a description of
           Linux threading libraries.)
    
           A call to vfork() is equivalent to calling clone(2) with  flags  speci-
           fied as:
    
                CLONE_VM | CLONE_VFORK | SIGCHLD
    
       History
           The vfork() system call appeared in 3.0BSD.  In 4.4BSD it was made syn-
           onymous to fork(2) but NetBSD introduced it again, cf.   In  Linux,  it
           has   been  equivalent  to  fork(2)  until  2.2.0-pre6  or  so.   Since
           2.2.0-pre9 (on i386, somewhat later on other architectures)  it  is  an
           independent system call.  Support was added in glibc 2.0.112.
    
    
    

    BUGS

           Details  of the signal handling are obscure and differ between systems.
    
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