Asked by Pari Kulkarni
Q.What is the difference between a daemon and a server process?
A. A ‘daemon’ is a software process that runs in the background (continuously) and provides the service to client upon request. For example named is a daemon. When requested it will provide DNS service. Other examples are:
- xinetd (it is a super-daemon, it is responsible for invoking other Internet servers when they are needed)
- inetd (same as xinetd, but with limited configuration options)
- sendmail/postfix (to send/route email)
- Apache/httpd (web server)
Following simple example illustrate relationship between client and daemon.
CLIENT -> Daemon
Browser Running one daemon for each of the services could significantly increase the load. However if you are running big site (with many user) it is advisable to use dedicated daemon. For example web server or MySQL database server.
A ‘server process’ run runs one time, when called by a daemon. Once done it will stop. For example telnetd (in.telnetd) or ftpd called from xinetd/inetd daemon . By calling server process from daemon you can save the load and memory. Use a server process for small services such as ftpd, telnetd
CLIENT -> Daemon -> Calls server process ftp -> xinetd -> Calls ftpd ftp xinetd stops ftpd quit