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Maximum number of Zombie process a system can handle

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 07 May, 2019

Zombie Process or Defunct Process are those Process which has completed their execution by exit() system call but still has an entry in Process Table. It is a process in terminated state.

When child process is created in UNIX using fork() system call, then if somehow parent process were not available to reap child process from Process Table, then this situation arise. Basically, Zombie Process is neither completely dead nor completely alive but it has having some state in between.

Since, there is an entry for all the process in process table, even for Zombie Processes. It is obvious that size of process table is Finite. So, if zombie process is created in large amount, then Process Table will get filled up and program will stop without completing their task.

Here, our task is to find out Maximum Number of Zombie Process created so that Program will not stop its execution. Approach for this problem is to create a zombie process within a loop and count it until the program does not stop the execution.

Below is the implementation in C of above idea :

// C program to find number of Zombie processes a 
// system can handle.
int main()
    int count = 0;
    while (fork() > 0)
        printf("%d\t", count);



In the image, we can see after 11834, the increment of count get stopped. However, this is not a fixed number but it will come around it.
Also, it will depend upon system configuration and strength.

This article is contributed by Aditya Kumar. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using or mail your article to See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

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