Posted on Mo 26 November 2007

Lazyweb: POSIX Process Groups and Sessions

Dear Lazyweb,

I have trouble understanding what exactly POSIX process groups and sessions are good for. The POSIX docs are very vague on this. What exactly is the effect of being in a process group with some other process, and what does being in the same session with it add on top? And what is the benefit of being a group/session leader in contrast of just being a normal random process in the group/session?

The only thing I understood is that kill(2) with a negative first parameter can be used to "multicast" signals to entire process groups, and that SIGINT on C-c is delivered that way. But, is that all? The POSIX docs say "... for the purpose of signaling, placement in foreground or background, and other job control actions", which is very vague. What are those "other job control actions?". What does job control persist of besides multicasting signals? And what is "placement in foreground or background" other than delivering signals?

And I totally don't get POSIX sessions and how they differ from POSIX process groups. Please enlighten me!


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