daemon

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daemon

[′dē·mən]
(computer science)
In Unix, a program that runs in the background, such as a server.

daemon

(operating system)
/day'mn/ or /dee'mn/ (From the mythological meaning, later rationalised as the acronym "Disk And Execution MONitor") A program that is not invoked explicitly, but lies dormant waiting for some condition(s) to occur. The idea is that the perpetrator of the condition need not be aware that a daemon is lurking (though often a program will commit an action only because it knows that it will implicitly invoke a daemon).

For example, under ITS writing a file on the LPT spooler's directory would invoke the spooling daemon, which would then print the file. The advantage is that programs wanting files printed need neither compete for access to, nor understand any idiosyncrasies of, the LPT. They simply enter their implicit requests and let the daemon decide what to do with them. Daemons are usually spawned automatically by the system, and may either live forever or be regenerated at intervals.

Unix systems run many daemons, chiefly to handle requests for services from other hosts on a network. Most of these are now started as required by a single real daemon, inetd, rather than running continuously. Examples are cron (local timed command execution), rshd (remote command execution), rlogind and telnetd (remote login), ftpd, nfsd (file transfer), lpd (printing).

Daemon and demon are often used interchangeably, but seem to have distinct connotations (see demon). The term "daemon" was introduced to computing by CTSS people (who pronounced it /dee'mon/) and used it to refer to what ITS called a dragon.

daemon

Pronounced "dee-mun" as in the word for devil, as well as "day-mun," a daemon is a Unix/Linux program that executes in the background ready to perform an operation when required. Functioning like an extension to the operating system, a daemon is usually an unattended process that is initiated at startup. Typical daemons are print spoolers and email handlers or a scheduler that starts up another process at a designated time. The term comes from Greek mythology, meaning "guardian spirit." See agent and mailer-daemon.
References in periodicals archive ?
He argues that the play's angels and daemons do not represent a part of or influence Faustus.
"I would also like to see the Daemons again, I think that would be fun.
Meade Army Base, National Security Agency on-call supervisors started seeing alerts from their daemons. Someone was distributing files that claimed to show how to synthesize Nexus 3 and how to convert that into Nexus 5.
MJ: What form would you prefer your daemon to take, and what form do you suppose it might actually take?
But oppression is furthest from the mind of twelve-year-old Lyra Belacqua and her daemon (pronounced "demon") Pan: They're too busy getting into trouble and having adolescent adventures in and around Oxford, in particular hassling the children of the Gyptians, wanderers who visit yearly on their barges.
The final scenes of The Golden Compass bring Lyra's interpretations of daemons and the alethiometer together, and also reveal the importance of and complications involved in spectatorship when it comes to complex visual signs.
Still the daemons chase you through the night, Their restless souls will haunt you tonight ...
He covers Doctor Who at the BBC, who watched, daemons and other elements of the fantastic, the show's formula, talking about regeneration, time television, the future that was, and the return of Doctor Who in a new series begun in 2005.
As well as a winning performance by Amy McAllister in the central role of Lyra, one of its obvious successes is the puppetry by Blind Summit which supplies the "daemons" - souls in visible animal form-which accompany human beings in the invented world where most of the action takes place.
But there are many unresolved problems in the crossover from book to stage, not least Philip Pullman's concept of daemons, the characters' alter egos.
Positives include a performance of real personality from Amy McAllister as Lyra and some sleek puppetry portraying the "daemons" - souls in animal form.