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Lesson 6. Application Environments > Monitoring Process Management

Monitoring Process Management

A process is a running program or set of threads, and an address space. A thread is a set of instructions that can be assigned independently to the CPU. Therefore, different threads of a single process can run on one processor at different times, or at the same time on different processors. This is called symmetric multi processing. The job of a process is to manage memory and other resources related to the execution of its threads. Processes can run without an explicit user interface: for example, some applications and most system-level processes, called daemons (pronounced “demons”), run in faceless mode.

Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities) allows you to view and monitor every application and process that is running on the computer. As stated in Lesson 3, “User Accounts,” every program (and therefore every process) is owned by a user. Activity Monitor tells you who owns each process, its status, how much of the CPU is being used to run the process, and how much memory is used by the process. You can identify the process by its ID number, which appears in the Process ID column. Each process ID (PID) is unique.


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