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In the world of computer science, the terms "process" and "program" are often used interchangeably, but they refer to distinct concepts. Understanding the difference between process and program is essential for anyone interested in the inner workings of computers and operating systems. In this article, we will explore the nuances of process and program, highlighting their definitions, characteristics, and the key difference between process and program.
Difference between process and program - A program is a set of instructions to complete a specific task. It is a passive entity that resides in secondary memory, such as the file’s contents stored on a disk. Programs can be executed by the central processing unit (CPU) when loaded into the computer's memory. They can be started via GUI mouse clicks, command line entry of their names, or other methods.
A program consists of two logical components: code and data. The code comprises a sequence of instructions that specify the program's operations. On the other hand, data refers to the information that the program manipulates during its execution.
Programs exist in a single place and continue to exist until they are deleted. They are static entities that do not change themselves. Multiple processes can execute a single program, where the program code may be the same, but the program data may vary.
Here are some key features of a program:
Difference between process and program - A process, also known as a job, refers to program code loaded into a computer's memory so the CPU can execute it. A process can be described as an instance of a program running on a computer or as an entity that can be assigned to and executed on a processor. When a program is loaded into memory, it becomes an active process.
Unlike a program, a process is a dynamic entity created during execution and loaded into the main memory. It exists for a limited period and gets terminated after completing its task. A process requires resources such as CPU, memory address, and input/output (I/O) during its lifetime.
Each process has its control block called a Process Control Block (PCB). This block contains information required for the management and execution of the process, including the process's state, priority, memory allocation, and other relevant details.
Here are some key features of a process:
Now that we have defined both program and process let's delve deeper into the key difference between process and program:
The first key difference between a process and a program is that a program is a set of instructions designed to complete a specific task. It is a passive entity that resides in secondary memory. On the other hand, a process is an instance of an executing program. It is an active entity created during execution and loaded into the main memory.
Another key difference between program and process is that a program exists in a single place and continues to exist until it is deleted. It is a static entity that does not change itself. In contrast, a process exists for a limited period. It is created during execution, executes its tasks, and gets terminated upon completion.
A program has no resource requirement other than memory space for storing its instructions. It does not require CPU time or other resources during its execution. On the other hand, a process has a high resource requirement. It needs CPU, memory address, and I/O for its execution.
A program does not have any control block associated with it. It only consists of code and data. In contrast, a process has its own control block called a Process Control Block (PCB). The PCB contains information required for the management and execution of the process.
A program contains a set of instructions designed to complete a specific task. It does not execute these instructions. On the other hand, a process is a sequence of instruction execution. It executes the instructions present in the program code.
A program consists of instructions and data. It does not manipulate data during its execution. Conversely, a process contains program data and requires additional information for its management and execution.
Program vs. Process in OS- Multiple processes can execute a single program. The program code may be the same in such cases, but the program data may differ between processes. This allows for concurrent execution and efficient utilization of system resources.
Here is the difference between process and program in os:
|Definition||A program is a set of instructions written in a programming language that defines a specific task or functionality.||A process is an instance of a program currently being executed by the operating system. It includes program code, data, and system resources.|
|Storage||Exists as a file on disk or in memory.||Exists in memory while running.|
|State||Inactive (until executed).||Active (running) or inactive (terminated).|
|Execution||Not directly executable by the computer. Needs an interpreter or compiler.||Executable by the computer's CPU.|
|Resources||Does not consume system resources while not running.||Consumes system resources during execution.|
|Interaction||Interacts with users or other programs through input/output operations.||Interacts with the operating system and other processes through system calls.|
|Creation||Created by a programmer or developer.||Created by the operating system when the program is executed.|
|Termination||Controlled by the user or the program.||Controlled by the operating system or can complete its execution naturally.|
|Parallel Execution||Multiple instances can run in parallel if started separately.||Multiple processes can run concurrently, utilizing multiple CPU cores.|
|Relationship||Can be a part of a larger software system or application.||A single program can give rise to multiple processes, each independent.|
|Examples||Microsoft Word, Photoshop, Web Browsers.||Instances of a web browser, background system tasks, printing documents.|
After understanding the difference between program and process in os, let’s dig into the similarities. There are several similarities between processes and programs. Here are some of the key similarities:
While processes and programs have distinct roles and characteristics, their underlying nature of executing code, utilizing resources, and interacting with the system makes them closely interconnected in computing.
In conclusion, the difference between a process and a program lies in their nature, existence, resource requirements, control blocks, instruction execution, and data manipulation. A program is a passive entity residing in secondary memory, while a process is an active entity loaded into the main memory during execution. Understanding the distinction between these two concepts is crucial for comprehending the inner workings of computers and operating systems.
By grasping the nuances of processes and programs, you can better understand how software is executed and managed within computer science. Whether you're a programmer, an IT professional, or a curious enthusiast, this knowledge will undoubtedly enhance your comprehension of the computational world.
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