What are Processes?

Processes are what allow a program to run and carry out various tasks. The term can also be used to describe the act of running a program or application.

More About Processes

In general, a process is any instance of a computer program that is being executed. A process has a program counter, which stores the address of the next instruction to be executed for that process.

A process is an active entity, which consists of a program code and its current activity. As processes execute, they change state.

A process may be in one of the following states:

  • New: The process has just been created but has not yet started executing.
  • Running: Instructions are being executed.
  • Waiting: The process is waiting for some event to occur (such as an I/O completion or reception of a signal).
  • Ready: The process is ready to run but waiting for its turn.
  • Terminated: The process has finished execution.

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