Herramientas de usuario

Herramientas del sitio

Barra lateral


Understanding Bash fork() bomb ~ :(){ :|:& };:

Q. Can you explain following bash code or bash fork() bomb? :(){ :|:& };:

A. This is a bash function. It gets called recursively (recursive function). This is most horrible code for any Unix / Linux box. It is often used by sys admin to test user processes limitations (Linux process limits can be configured via /etc/security/limits.conf and PAM).

Once a successful fork bomb has been activated in a system it may not be possible to resume normal operation without rebooting, as the only solution to a fork bomb is to destroy all instances of it. [Warning examples may crash your computer] WARNING! These examples may crash your computer if executed. Understanding :(){ :|:& };: fork() bomb code

:() - It is a function name. It accepts no arguments at all. Generally, bash function is defined as follows:

 echo ''
 #do_something on $arg argument

fork() bomb is defined as follows:


:|: - Next it call itself using programming technique called recursion and pipes the output to another call of the function ':'. The worst part is function get called two times to bomb your system.

& - Puts the function call in the background so child cannot die at all and start eating system resources.

; - Terminate the function definition

: - Call (run) the function aka set the fork() bomb.

Here is more human readable code:

bomb() {
 bomb | bomb &
}; bomb

Properly configured Linux / UNIX box should not go down when fork() bomb sets off.


Perl exmaple:

perl -e "fork while fork" &

Python example:

import os

Windows XP / Vista bat file example:

start %0
goto bomb

UNIX style for Windows:


C program example:

 int main() {   while(1)      fork();  } 

Plz note that the fork bomb is a form of denial of service, so don’t run on production or unauthorized system.


seguridad/enlaces/understanding_bash_fork_bomb.txt · Última modificación: 2014/06/03 11:05 (editor externo)