Test to see whether a named process is running - platform independent

This is a discussion on Test to see whether a named process is running - platform independent within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hi there, I'm trying to find a way of testing whether my process is already running when I try to ...

  1. #1
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    Test to see whether a named process is running - platform independent

    Hi there,
    I'm trying to find a way of testing whether my process is already running when I try to spin it up. If it is already running, I then need to kill it. The problem is that the application is going to be deployed on both Windows XP and RHEL/CentOS 5 boxes.

    I have been able to track down OS-specific ways of testing to see if a named process is running, but is there any way to do it independent of operating system?

    We have been making heavy use of the ACE libraries, which allows us to perform a lot of operations which would usually be os-specific in a portable way, but I can't seem to fund a way of getting the process list.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Rik

  2. #2
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    Do you really need the process list? I guess any system has a functionality to access named mutexes, so if you can aquire access, your instance is the first to run, if your access request times out, another instance is already running. At least on Windows, this is even faster than process scanning.
    hth
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    Mutexes are process specific

    I did think about putting a giant mutex around the main function, but the problem is that a mutex guarantees mutual exclusion for threads within the same process. Two processes will have separate instances of the mutex.

    I have thought of three ways:
    1) Write the process id to file when the program spins up. Delete it when the programs stops and write a seg fault handler to delete it when the proram seg faults. If the file exists, another process is already running. This is good, but would require a fault handler, which I don't have a great deal of experience with.

    2) Have a batch file/bash script to kick off the application. Obviously the script would be OS specific. It would work, it would be quick to do, but it's not an elegant solution.

    3) Implement two versions of the class in one file with massive pre-processor guards, so that one complete implementation is for windows and the other for linux. Again, not so elegant, but it would work. The main issue is working out which OS we are running under at run time.

    Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    CSharpener vart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RikSaunderson View Post
    I did think about putting a giant mutex around the main function, but the problem is that a mutex guarantees mutual exclusion for threads within the same process. Two processes will have separate instances of the mutex.

    I
    Are you sure you are talking about named mutexes?

    Mutex
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    the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.

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