Computer Terminology
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What is the difference between LWP and threads?

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Wiki User
2008-05-12 01:05:44

This explains the difference between LWP-Process-Thread:

A light-weight process (LWP) is a means of achieving

multitasking. In contrast to a regular (full-blown) process, an LWP

shares all (or most of) its logical address space and system

resources with other process(es); in contrast to a thread, a

light-weight process has its own private process identifier and

parenthood relationships with other processes. Moreover, while a

thread can either be managed at the application level or by the

kernel, an LWP is always managed by the kernel and it is scheduled

as a regular process. One significant example of a kernel that

supports LWPs is the Linux kernel. On most systems, a light-weight

process also differs from a full-blown process, in that it only

consists of the bare minimum execution context and accounting

information that is needed by the scheduler, hence the term

light-weight. Generally, a process refers to an instance of

a program, while an LWP represents a thread of execution of a

program (indeed, LWPs can be conveniently used to implement

threads, if the underlying kernel does not directly support them).

Since a thread of execution does not need as much state information

as a process, a light-weight process does not carry such

information. As a consequence of the fact that LWPs share most of

their resources with other LWPs, they are unsuitable for certain

applications, where multiple full-blown processes are needed, e.g.

to avoid memory leaks (a process can be replaced by another one) or

to achieve privilege separation (processes can run under other

credentials and have other permissions). Using multiple processes

also allows the application to more easily survive if a process of

the pool crashes or is exploited.

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