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Difference between Program and Process

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 18 Oct, 2021
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1. Program : 
When we execute a program that was just compiled, the OS will generate a process to execute the program. Execution of the program starts via GUI mouse clicks, command line entry of its name, etc. A program is a passive entity as it resides in the secondary memory, such as the contents of a file stored on disk. One program can have several processes. 

2. Process : 
The term process (Job) refers to program code that has been loaded into a computer’s memory so that it can be executed by the central processing unit (CPU). A process can be described as an instance of a program running on a computer or as an entity that can be assigned to and executed on a processor. A program becomes a process when loaded into memory and thus is an active entity. 

Difference between Program and Process : 

1.Program contains a set of instructions designed to complete a specific task.Process is an instance of an executing program.
2.Program is a passive entity as it resides in the secondary memory.Process is a active entity as it is created during execution and loaded into the main memory.
3.Program exists at a single place and continues to exist until it is deleted.Process exists for a limited span of time as it gets terminated after the completion of task.
4.Program is a static entity.Process is a dynamic entity.
5.Program does not have any resource requirement, it only requires memory space for storing the instructions.Process has a high resource requirement, it needs resources like CPU, memory address, I/O during its lifetime.
6.Program does not have any control block.Process has its own control block called Process Control Block.
7.Program has two logical components: code and data.In addition to program data, a process also requires additional information required for the management and execution.
8.Program does not change itself.Many processes may execute a single program. There program code may be the same but program data may be different. these are never same.
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