Difference between Process and Program
A Program is an executable file which contains a certain set of instructions written to complete the specific job or operation on your computer. For example, Google browser chrome.exe is an executable file which stores a set of instructions written in it which allow you to open the browser and explore web pages.
Programs are never stored on the primary memory in your computer. Instead, they are stored on a disk or secondary memory on your PC or laptop. They are read from the primary memory and executed by the kernel.
In this tutorial, we will differentiate between process and program, and learn:
- What is the Program?
- What is a Process?
- Features of Program
- Features of Process
- Difference between program and process
A Process is an execution of a specific program. It is an active entity that actions the purpose of the application. Multiple processes may be related to the same program. For example, if you double-click on Google Chrome browser, you start a process that runs Google Chrome and when you open another instance of Chrome, you essentially create a second process.
- Process is an executing part of a program whereas a program is a group of ordered operations to achieve a programming goal.
- The process has a shorter and minimal lifespan whereas program has a longer lifespan.
- Process contains many resources like a memory address, disk, printer while Program needs memory space on the disk to store all instructions.
- When we distinguish between process and program, Process is a dynamic or active entity whereas Program is a passive or static entity.
- To differentiate program and process, Process has considerable overhead whereas Program has no significant overhead cost.
- A program is a passive entity. It stores a group of instructions to be executed.
- Various processes may be related to the same program.
- A user may run multiple programs where the operating systems simplify its internal programmed activities like memory management.
- The program can't perform any action without a run. It needs to be executed to realize the steps mentioned in it.
- The operating system allocates main memory to store programs instructions.
- A process has a very limited lifespan
- They also generate one or more child processes, and they die like a human being.
- Like humans, even process has information like who is a parent when it is created, address space of allocated memory, security properties which includes ownership credentials and privileges.
- Processes are allocated system resources like file descriptors and network ports.
Next, we will learn what is the difference between process and program.
Some significant difference between process vs program are given below:
|Definition||An executing part of a program is called a process.||A program is a group of ordered operations to achieve a programming goal.|
|Nature||The process is an instance of the program being executing.||The nature of the program is passive, so it's unlikely to do to anything until it gets executed.|
|Resource management||The resource requirement is quite high in case of a process.||The program only needs memory for storage.|
|Overheads||Processes have considerable overhead.||No significant overhead cost.|
|Lifespan||The process has a shorter and very limited lifespan as it gets terminated after the completion of the task.||A program has a longer lifespan as it is stored in the memory until it is not manually deleted.|
|Creation||New processes require duplication of the parent process.||No such duplication is needed.|
|Required Process||Process holds resources like CPU, memory address, disk, I/O, etc.||The program is stored on disk in some file and does not require any other resources.|
|Entity type||A process is a dynamic or active entity.||A program is a passive or static entity.|
|Contain||A process contains many resources like a memory address, disk, printer, etc.||A program needs memory space on disk to store all instructions.|