Processes don't "use up resources" after they've died and been freedWhile I'm indifferent about the patch, I would like to point out that fork-bombs are also bad because they eat _a lot_ of processor time, and I've seen ones designed to bring a system to it's knees just by saturating the processor with calls to fork() (which is as slow as or slower than stat() on many commodity systems, setting up the various structures for a new process is an expensive operation) and clogging up the scheduler. This isn't as evident of course when you run a fork-bomb on a laptop or similar system, because you run out of memory and PID's before the latency from scheduling and so many processes calling fork really starts to become noticeable, but when you start to look at really big systems (on the order of hundreds of GB of RAM), it does become much more noticeable.
(which is dealt with inside PIDs). Yes, lots of small processes that
die quickly could (in principle) make hard work for the scheduler, but
I don't see how "time spent scheduling in general" is a resource...
Fork bombs aren't bad because they cause a lot of fork()s, they're bad
because the *create a bunch of processes that use up memory*, which
happens because they call fork() a bunch of times and **don't
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