Introduction to Process Management

Before explaining process management, it is important to explain the terms program and process.

Program vs. Process

The process is actually a program in running State. But the main difference between program and process is,

“Every Program which is written in Low or High-level language like (Assembly, C++, and Java, etc.) is called Program. When CPU executes any program, then it becomes a process.”

In simple words, we can say,

“A process is a program which contains a set of instructions to execute.”

CPU executes these instructions. A process may require many computer resources to execute these instructions like printer, memory etc.

If more than one processes request for the same resource at the same time. Then, deadlock may occur. To handle such situations, Operating System is used.

 OS performs the following activities in Process Management

  1. Scheduling processes and threads on the CPUs.
  2. Create and delete both system and user processes.
  3. Context switching (Suspending and resuming processes).
  4. Mechanisms for process communication.
  5. Mechanisms for process synchronization.

How Process Looks in Main Memory?

The following image shows a simple layout of a process inside the main memory,


The Stack contains the temporary data, such as function parameters, returns addresses, and local variables.


It is dynamically allocated memory to a process during its execution time.


It Contains the global and static variables.


It includes the current instructions represented by the Program Counter. It also represents the contents of the processor’s registers.


Operations on the Process 

  1. Creation: OS creates the Processes through System calls at a secondary level.
  2. Scheduling: Selecting the process to be executed next is known as scheduling.
  3. Execution: When the process is scheduled for execution. Then, the CPU starts executing it.
  4. Deletion/killing: Once the process is over, the OS will kill that process.