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fork bomb

fork bomb: [UNIX] n. A particular species of wabbit that can
   be written in one line of C (`main() {for(;;)fork();}') or shell
   (`$0 & $0 &') on any UNIX system, or occasionally created by an
   egregious coding bug.  A fork bomb process `explodes' by
   recursively spawning copies of itself (using the UNIX system call
   `fork(2)').  Eventually it eats all the process table entries
   and effectively wedges the system.  Fortunately, fork bombs are
   relatively easy to spot and kill, so creating one deliberately
   seldom accomplishes more than to bring the just wrath of the gods
   down upon the perpetrator.  See also logic bomb.