Multiprocessing in Python

Let's discuss what multiprocessing is in Python and how it works.


The multiprocessing module was added to Python in version 2.6. It was originally defined in PEP 371 by Jesse Noller and Richard Oudkerk. The multiprocessing module allows you to spawn processes in much the same manner as you can spawn threads with the threading module. The idea here is that because you are now spawning processes, you can avoid the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL) and take full advantages of multiple processors on a machine.

The multiprocessing package also includes some APIs that are not in the threading module at all. For example, there is a neat Pool class that you can use to parallelize executing a function across multiple inputs. We will be looking at Pool later. We will start with the multiprocessing module’s Process class.

Getting started with multiprocessing

The Process class is very similar to the threading module’s Thread class. Let’s try creating a series of processes that call the same function and see how that works:

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