fork

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fork

1. a small usually metal implement consisting of two, three, or four long thin prongs on the end of a handle, used for lifting food to the mouth or turning it in cooking, etc.
2. an agricultural tool consisting of a handle and three or four metal prongs, used for lifting, digging, etc.
3. Chess a position in which two pieces are forked

fork

(operating system)
A Unix system call used by a process (the "parent") to make a copy (the "child") of itself. The child process is identical to the parent except it has a different process identifier and a zero return value from the fork call. It is assumed to have used no resources.

A fork followed by an exec can be used to start a different process but this can be inefficient and some later Unix variants provide vfork as an alternative mechanism for this.

See also fork bomb.

fork

(1) To split into two. See forked version and hard fork.

(2) In Unix, to make a copy of a process for execution.

(3) In the Macintosh file system, a fork is a top- level structure that separates data folders and files from other resources. See HFS.

(4) In a SIP telephony system, to search multiple locations for a recipient. See forking proxy.