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fork

Creates a new process. 

The new process  is  an  exact copy  of the current Expect process. 

On success, fork returns 0 to the new (child) process and  returns  the process ID of the child process to the parent process.  On failure (invariably due to lack of resources, e.g., swap  space,  memory),  fork  returns -1 to the parent process, and no child process is created. 

Forked processes exit via the exit command, just like the original process.  Forked processes are allowed to write to the log files.  If you do not disable debugging or logging in most of the processes, the result can be confusing. 

Some pty implementations may be confused by multiple readers and writers, even momentarily.  Thus, it is safest to fork before spawning processes. 


This material is excerpted from the O'Reilly book "Exploring Expect" by Don Libes and from teh Solaris manpage 

 

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