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GETPGRP(2) System Calls Manual GETPGRP(2)


getpgrpget process group


Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


#include <unistd.h>


getpgid(pid_t pid);


The process group of the current process is returned by (). The process group of the process identified by pid is returned by (). If pid is zero, getpgid() returns the process group of the current process.

Process groups are used for distribution of signals, and by terminals to arbitrate requests for their input: processes that have the same process group as the terminal are foreground and may read, while others will block with a signal if they attempt to read.

This system call is thus used by programs such as csh(1) to create process groups in implementing job control. The () and () calls are used to get/set the process group of the control terminal.


The getpgrp() system call always succeeds. Upon successful completion, the getpgid() system call returns the process group of the specified process; otherwise, it returns a value of -1 and sets errno to indicate the error.


This version of getpgrp() differs from past Berkeley versions by not taking a pid_t pid argument. This incompatibility is required by IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 (“POSIX.1”).

From the IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 (“POSIX.1”) Rationale:

4.3BSD provides a getpgrp() system call that returns the process group ID for a specified process. Although this function is used to support job control, all known job-control shells always specify the calling process with this function. Thus, the simpler AT&T System V UNIX getpgrp() suffices, and the added complexity of the 4.3BSD getpgrp() has been omitted from POSIX.1. The old functionality is available from the getpgid() system call.


The getpgid() system call will succeed unless:

there is no process whose process ID equals pid


getsid(2), setpgid(2), termios(4)


The getpgrp() system call is expected to conform to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990 (“POSIX.1”).


The getpgrp() system call appeared in 4.0BSD. The getpgid() system call is derived from its usage in AT&T System V Release 4 UNIX.

June 4, 1993 Debian