Execution (computing)

Robert Neagoe By: Robert Neagoe
2 minute read

Home » Vocabulary » Thing » Execution (computing)

What is the meaning of execution process in computing?

Execution in computer and software engineering is the process by which a computer or a virtual machine carries out the instructions of a computer program. The instructions in the program trigger sequences of simple actions on the executing machine. Those actions produce effects according to the semantics of the instructions in the program.

Programs for a computer may execute in a batch process without human interaction, or a user may type commands in an interactive session of an interpreter.

How does a computer execute/run a program?

The term run is used almost synonymously. A related meaning of both “to run” and “to execute” refers to the specific action of a user starting (or launching or invoking) a program, as in “Would you like to run the application?”

When you download and install a program on your computer, the program is actually copied to your hard disk. But when you execute a program, the program is loaded from your hard disk to the main memory, and that copy of the program is executed.

How does a computer execute/run a program?

A program is generally written in source code, which is then compiled to an executable. This executable is then invoked, most often by an operating system, which loads the program into memory (load time), possibly performs dynamic linking, and then begins execution by moving control to the entry point of the program. The program then runs until it ends, either normal termination or a crash.

 

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