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Running processes in parallel

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You can start up several processes at once by separating the commands with ampersand (&) characters. For example, this command line:

    % prune&weed&water&
would run the three commands prune, weed, and water, all at the same time.

Warning! Since all processes on a machine compete for resources on an equal basis, it is really anti-social to start up a lot of compute-intensive processes on the same machine. It is actually faster if you run them one at a time in sequence. You can do this by putting parentheses around a sequence of processes and using an ampersand after the closing parenthesis, like this:

    % (prune;weed;water)&
This would run the prune job first, then the weed process, then the water command, but they would all be running in the background, and you would get another Unix prompt right away.
Next: What is a suspended process?
See also: Controlling multiple processes
Previous: What is a background process?
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John Shipman,
Last updated: 1995/12/04 19:39:34 UT
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