I have come to understand that a program is an executable code in the hard-drive and when this is being executed an instance of this program is loaded on to the memory called a process. My question is when a big application(program) is executing, a PC game, can multiple processes be created..i.e. there are multiple programs to support this one application(these different programs start with the application and end with it? or does each application just create a single program?

1 Answer 1



The Chrome web browser is a good example of this. Open Chrome and you'll find dozens of chrome.exe processes. Studying the well-published documentation on how and why Google has done this with Chrome can be very informative and gives ideas why other applications may behave in similar ways.

  • Yes of course...but in case of chrome, it is the multiple instances of the same program. My question is can there be programs which when run would start running instance of other..totoally different programs too and the output of all these programs put together gives us the output.
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 17:00
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    While there are multiple instances of the chrome.exe PROCESS, they are not all performing the same operation, and they all do their different tasks in service to the same PROGRAM, the Chrome browser. The example still stands. Further, thinking a little more, every Operating System does precisely this to nearly every program running on it: using its own processes to provide required services to the applications/programs running on it. Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 17:05
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    A process can create as many other processes as it wishes for any reason. They can work independently or together - whatever they were designed to do.
    – LMiller7
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 20:27
  • Exactly! But the notes I read just said that the process is an instance of a program and there can be multiple processes and went on to give the example of multiple instances of the same program being created and nothing was said about process created by totally different programs...ie one program or application creating multiple processes(and i don't mean multiple process dues to multiple instances of the same program, but due to instance of different programs being created due to runing this one program/application.) Thank you.
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 3:03
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    @GRANZER, for an example of two distinct programs, consider a client-server model. I recently worked on a project where one program ("client") needed to provide data to a server program, and then get a response back. The client program (process) would actually launch the server program/process, and then terminate that program when needed, and they both ran at the same time on the same machine. For another example, when you install some programs, you'll see command prompts popping up and going away; each of those is a program/process launched by the installer.
    – K_foxer9
    Commented Jul 29, 2018 at 20:11

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