There were many Bagginses and Boffins, and also many Tooks and Brandybucks; there were various Grubbs (relations of Bilbo Baggins' grandmother), and various Chubbs (connexions of his Took grandfather); and a selection of Burrowses, Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Brockhouses, Goodbodies, Hornblowers and Proudfoots. Some of these were only very distantly connected with Bilbo, and some of them had hardly ever been in Hobbiton before, as they lived in remote corners of the Shire.
—The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 1
Processes are one of the most critical abstractions in any operating system. They are the basis for scheduling, memory management, accounting, and more. Even the kernel itself runs as a process!
In this studio, you will:
Please complete the required exercises below, as well as any optional enrichment exercises that you wish to complete.
As you work through these exercises, please record your answers, and when finished email your results to email@example.com with the phrase Process Family Tree in the subject line.
Make sure that the name of each person who worked on these exercises is listed in the first answer, and make sure you number each of your responses so it is easy to match your responses with each exercise.
fork.c. Use the
fork()function to spawn a child process from a parent process. The parent process should print a statement before the fork and print out the child's PID after the fork. The child process should print out a statement after it has been spawned. Give your program's output as the answer to this question.
tree.cthat imitates a family tree. Your first process should spawn two children, and then each of those two children should spawn their own two children, and so forth. Take a single integer parameter from the command line that controls the total number of generations. Before exiting, all processes should sleep for 120 seconds. (Warning: Bear in mind that this will create 2^(n+1) - 1 processes, where n is the number you provide. For n=5 you will create 63 processes, for n=10 you will create 2047, etc. Large numbers will crash and/or starve your system!) Show output of your program with a couple of different tree depths as the answer to this question.
/samples/kobject/kobject-example.cinto your current working directory. This is a kernel module that uses a feature called kobjects to provide an interface to exchange data between the kernel and userspace. Each data item is called an attribute, and for each attribute you provide a
storefunction that is called when userspace reads and writes these values, respectively.
This particular module provides three attributes:
bar. Once loaded, you can find them in
sysfs filesystem under
/sys/kernel/kobject-example/. Modify this file so that a system
log message is printed when any of foo, baz, or bar are updated. This
log message should include the old value as well as the new value.
You can read values out of these attributes with the command
cat, and you can write values into these attributes with the
echo command, e.g. "
echo 42 > foo" will write the value 42
into the attribute
foo. Note that you must have a root terminal
to write into these commands (i.e.
sudo echo doesn't work). You can
get a root terminal with the command
As the answer to this question demonstrate your module successfully
changing the values of
sysfsinterface and prints that process' family tree in the system log.
Make a new kernel module called
family_reader.c that is
based off of your modified
This module should create a single system attribute under
/sys/kernel/fam_reader/. When you write a PID to this attribute,
your module should try to print out the PID's family tree. There are a few
Side note: The modern Linux kernel makes a distinction between "real" and "virtual" PIDs for the benefit of migrating processes across different virtual hosts. The virtual PID is the PID that a process sees from userspace. You can read more here.
find_vpid(), which returns a
pid*. This function can fail!
task_struct*with the function
task_structis the primary record-keeping component of a process in Linux. This function can fail!
task_struct*, you can access any of the data it stores. In particular, the
real_parentfield stores a
task_struct*pointer to the process that cloned it, and the
commfield is a string that gives the command name. Note: there is a separate field called
parent, which is not what we want for this project. The parent is the logical parent that shares process group signals and allows for waiting between parent and child.
inittask with a PID of one.
When you pass a PID to this module, it should output that task's PID and
command name, and then the PID and command name of every task that came before
it, all the way back to
init. Note, the command name for PID one
will actually be
systemd. When you pass an invalid PID, your
module should fail gracefully and print an appropriate error message.
topand pass it's PID to your module. Copy and paste the results here.
tree.cwith an input of five generations. Pass one of the last PIDs to your module. Copy and paste the results here.
sched.cincludes a lot of facilities for working with tasks, including the ability to modify specific tasks or iterate over every task in the system with macros such as
do_each_process(). See what you can dig up!