Child Process Monitoring


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As we have seen, whenever we create a child process from a program using fork, the following happens −

  • Current process now becomes the parent process
  • The new process becomes the child process

What happens if the parent process finishes its task early than the child process and then quits or exits? Now who would be the parent of the child process? The parent of the child process is init process, which is the very first process initiating all the tasks.

To monitor the child process execution state, to check whether the child process is running or stopped or to check the execution status, etc. the wait() system calls and its variants is used.

Let us consider an example program, where the parent process does not wait for the child process, which results into init process becoming the new parent for the child process.

File name: parentprocess_nowait.c

#include<stdio.h>

int main() {
   int pid;
   pid = fork();
   
   // Child process
   if (pid == 0) {
      system("ps -ef");
      sleep(10);
      system("ps -ef");
   } else {
      sleep(3);
   }
   return 0;
}

Compilation and Execution Steps

UID         PID   PPID  C STIME TTY          TIME CMD
root          1      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:00 /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe
mysql       101      1  0 Jan20 ?        00:04:41 /usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --plugin-dir=/usr/lib64/mysql/plugin --user=mysql --log-error=/var/log/mariadb/mariadb.log --pid-file=/run/mariadb/mariadb.pid --socket=/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock
3108506    5445      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328    5446      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   21894      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   21895      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   27309      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   27311      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
8295652   32407      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   49830      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   50854      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   64936      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   64937      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   67563      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   68128      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:07 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   68238      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   68999      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   69212      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   74090      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   74091      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   74298      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   74299      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
6327201   74901      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:38 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
6327201   77274      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   78621      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:33 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   80536      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:01:09 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
6327201   80542      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:01:09 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   82050      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   82051      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   84116      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   84136      0 19 Jan20 ?        21:13:38 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   84140      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:28 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   84395      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   84396      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   84397      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   84928      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   84929      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   84930      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:30 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   84970      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:34 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   85787      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   85789      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   86368      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   86402      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   87027      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   87629      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   87719      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   88138      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   88140      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   89353      0 99 Jan22 ?        2-07:35:14 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
5942779   91836      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328  125358      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506  125359      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328  127456      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506  127457      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
8023807  163891      0  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  164130      0  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 sh -c cd /home/cg/root/8023807; timeout 10s main
8023807  164136 164130  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 timeout 10s main
8023807  164137 164136  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  164138 164137  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  164139 164138  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 ps -ef
UID         PID   PPID  C STIME TTY          TIME CMD
root          1      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:00 /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe
mysql       101      1  0 Jan20 ?        00:04:41 /usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --plugin-dir=/usr/lib64/mysql/plugin --user=mysql --log-error=/var/log/mariadb/mariadb.log --pid-file=/run/mariadb/mariadb.pid --socket=/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock
3108506    5445      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328    5446      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   21894      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   21895      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   27309      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   27311      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
8295652   32407      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   49830      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   50854      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   64936      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   64937      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   67563      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   68128      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:07 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   68238      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   68999      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   69212      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   74090      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   74091      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   74298      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   74299      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
6327201   74901      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:38 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
6327201   77274      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   78621      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:33 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   80536      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:01:09 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
6327201   80542      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:01:09 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   82050      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   82051      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   84116      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   84136      0 19 Jan20 ?        21:13:48 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   84140      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:28 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   84395      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   84396      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   84397      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   84928      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   84929      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   84930      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:30 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   84970      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:34 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   85787      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   85789      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   86368      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   86402      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   87027      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   87629      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   87719      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   88138      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   88140      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   89353      0 99 Jan22 ?        2-07:35:24 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
5942779   91836      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328  125358      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506  125359      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328  127456      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506  127457      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
8023807  164138      0  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  164897 164138  0 05:41 ?        00:00:00 ps -ef

Note − Observe that the parent process PID was 94 and the child process PID was 95. After the parent process exits, the PPID of the child process changed from 94 to 1 (init process).

Following are the variants of system calls to monitor the child process/es −

  • wait()
  • waitpid()
  • waitid()

The wait() system call would wait for one of the children to terminate and return its termination status in the buffer as explained below.

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>

pid_t wait(int *status);

This call returns the process ID of the terminated child on success and -1 on failure. The wait() system call suspends the execution of the current process and waits indefinitely until one of its children terminates. The termination status from the child is available in status.

Let us modify the previous program, so that the parent process now waits for the child process.

/* File name: parentprocess_waits.c */

#include<stdio.h>

int main() {
   int pid;
   int status;
   pid = fork();
   
   // Child process
   if (pid == 0) {
      system("ps -ef");
      sleep(10);
      system("ps -ef");
      return 3; //exit status is 3 from child process
   } else {
      sleep(3);
      wait(&status);
      printf("In parent process: exit status from child is decimal %d, hexa %0x\n", status, status);
   }
   return 0;
}

Compilation and Execution Steps

UID         PID   PPID  C STIME TTY          TIME CMD
root          1      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:00 /bin/sh /usr/bin/mysqld_safe
mysql       101      1  0 Jan20 ?        00:04:42 /usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --plugin-dir=/usr/lib64/mysql/plugin --user=mysql --log-error=/var/log/mariadb/mariadb.log --pid-file=/run/mariadb/mariadb.pid --socket=/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock
3108506    5445      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328    5446      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   21894      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   21895      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   27309      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   27311      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
8295652   32407      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   49830      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   50854      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:18 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   64936      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   64937      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   67563      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   68128      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:07 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   68238      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   68999      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   69212      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   74090      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   74091      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   74298      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   74299      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
6327201   74901      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:38 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
6327201   77274      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   78621      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:33 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   80536      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:01:09 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
6327201   80542      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:01:09 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   82050      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   82051      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:59 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   84116      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   84136      0 19 Jan20 ?        21:19:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   84140      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:28 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   84395      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   84396      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   84397      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506   84928      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   84929      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:29 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   84930      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:30 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   84970      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:34 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
3108506   85787      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   85789      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   86368      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   86402      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   87027      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
7528790   87629      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:39 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
7528790   87719      0  0 Jan20 ?        00:00:27 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
4688328   88138      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328   88140      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:14 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
5942779   89353      0 99 Jan22 ?        2-07:41:15 /sbin/klogd -c 1 -x -x
5942779   91836      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:00:00 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328  125358      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506  125359      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
4688328  127456      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
3108506  127457      0  0 Jan22 ?        00:01:19 [/sbin/klogd -c ] <defunct>
8023807  191762      0  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 sh -c cd /home/cg/root/8023807; timeout 10s main
8023807  191768 191762  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 timeout 10s main
8023807  191769 191768  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  191770 191769  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  192193      0  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 sh -c cd /home/cg/root/8023807; timeout 10s main
8023807  192199 192193  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 timeout 10s main
8023807  192200 192199  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  192201 192200  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 main
8023807  192202 192201  0 05:47 ?        00:00:00 ps -ef

Note − Even though child returns the exit status of 3, why the parent process sees that as 768. The status is stored in the higher order byte, so it is stored in hexadecimal format as 0X0300, which is 768 in decimal. Normal termination is as follows

Higher Order Byte (Bits 8 to 15) Lower Order Byte (Bits 0 to 7)
Exit status (0 to 255) 0

The wait() system call has limitation such as it can only wait until the exit of the next child. If we need to wait for a specific child it is not possible using wait(), however, it is possible using waitpid() system call.

The waitpid() system call would wait for specified children to terminate and return its termination status in the buffer as explained below.

#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>

pid_t waitpid(pid_t pid, int *status, int options);

The above call returns the process ID of the terminated child on success and -1 on failure. The waitpid() system call suspends the execution of the current process and waits indefinitely until the specified children (as per pid value) terminates. The termination status from the child is available in the status.

The value of pid can be either of the following −

  • < -1 − Wait for any child process whose process group ID is equal to the absolute value of pid.

  • -1 − Wait for any child process, which equals to that of wait() system call.

  • 0 − Wait for any child process whose process group ID is equal to that of the calling process.

  • >0 − Wait for any child process whose process ID is equal to the value of pid.

By default, waitpid() system call waits only for the terminated children but this default behavior can be modified using the options argument.

Now let us consider a program as an example, waiting for a specific process with its process id.

/* Filename: waitpid_test.c */

#include<stdio.h>
#include<unistd.h>
#include<sys/types.h>
#include<sys/wait.h>

int main() {
   int pid;
   int pids[3];
   int status;
   int numprocesses = 0;
   int total_processes = 3;
   while (numprocesses < total_processes) {
      pid = fork();
      
      // Child process
      if (pid == 0) {
         printf("In child process: process id is %d\n", getpid());
         sleep(5);
         return 4;
      } else {
         pids[numprocesses] = pid;
         numprocesses++;
         printf("In parent process: created process number: %d\n", pid);
      }
   }
   
   // Waiting for 3rd child process
   waitpid(pids[total_processes - 1], &status, 0);
   if (WIFEXITED(status) != 0) {
      printf("process %d exited normally\n", pids[total_processes - 1]);
      printf("exit status from child is %d\n", WEXITSTATUS(status));
   } else {
      printf("process %d not exited normally\n", pids[total_processes - 1]);
   }
   return 0;
}

After compilation and execution, following is the output.

In child process: process id is 32528
In parent process: created process number: 32528
In child process: process id is 32529
In parent process: created process number: 32528
In parent process: created process number: 32529
In child process: process id is 32530
In parent process: created process number: 32528
In parent process: created process number: 32529
In parent process: created process number: 32530
process 32530 exited normally
exit status from child is 4

Now, let us check for waitid() system call. This system call waits for the child process to change state.

#include <sys/wait.h>

int waitpid(idtype_t idtype, id_t id, siginfo_t *infop, int options);

The above system call waits for the child process to change the state and this call suspends the current/calling process until any of its child process changes its state. The argument ‘infop’ is to record the current state of the child. This call returns immediately, if the process has already changed its state.

The value of idtype can be either of the following −

  • P_PID − Wait for any child process whose process ID is equal to that of id.

  • P_PGID − Wait for any child process, whose process group ID is equal to that of id.

  • P_ALL − Wait for any child process and id is ignored.

  • The options argument is to specify which state changes and this can be formed with bitwise OR operation with the below-mentioned flags −

  • WCONTINUED − Returns the status of any child that was stopped and has been continued.

  • WEXITED − Waits for the process to exit.

  • WNOHANG − Returns immediately.

  • WSTOPPED − Waits for the process of any child that has stopped, upon receipt of the signal and returns the status.

This call returns 0, if it returns due to a change of the state of one of its children and WNOHANG is used. It returns –1, in case of error and sets the appropriate error number.

/* Filename: waitid_test.c */

#include<stdio.h>
#include<unistd.h>
#include<sys/types.h>
#include<sys/wait.h>

int main() {
   int pid;
   int pids[3];
   int status;
   int numprocesses = 0;
   int total_processes = 3;
   siginfo_t siginfo;
   while (numprocesses < total_processes) {
      pid = fork();
      
      // Child process
      if (pid == 0) {
         printf("In child process: process id is %d\n", getpid());
         sleep(5);
         return 2;
      } else {
         pids[numprocesses] = pid;
         numprocesses++;
         printf("In parent process: created process number: %d\n", pid);
      }
   }
   
   // Waiting for 3rd child process
   status = waitid(P_PID, pids[total_processes - 1], &siginfo, WEXITED);
   if (status == -1) {
      perror("waitid error");
      return 1;
   }
   printf("Info received from waitid is: ");
   printf("PID of child: %d, real user id of child: %d\n", siginfo.si_pid, siginfo.si_uid);
   return 0;
}

After execution and compilation of the above program, following is the result.

In child process: process id is 35390
In parent process: created process number: 35390
In child process: process id is 35391
In parent process: created process number: 35390
In parent process: created process number: 35391
In child process: process id is 35392
In parent process: created process number: 35390
In parent process: created process number: 35391
In parent process: created process number: 35392
Info received from waitid is: PID of child: 35392, real user id of child: 4581875


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