Forking in Perl 2

Build up an index of files to process, e.g. SAM files. Fork out 16 child processes, each time processing and eliminating one file from the index. As with all my code, use at your own risk. Comments and suggestions always welcome.


use strict;
use warnings;

my $fork_process = '16';
my @file_for_processing = ();
my @child = ();

opendir(DIR,'.') || die "Could not open current directory: $!\n";
while(my $file = readdir(DIR)){
   next unless $file =~ /\.sam.gz$/;

while(scalar(@file_for_processing) > 0){
   for (1 .. $fork_process){
      my $pid = fork();
      if ($pid) {
         # parent
         push(@child, $pid);
      } elsif ($pid == 0) {
         # child
         if (scalar(@file_for_processing) > 0){
            print "CHILD: processing $file_for_processing[-1]\n";
      } else {
         die "Couldn't fork: $!\n";
   foreach my $pid (@child) {
      waitpid($pid, 0);


For more information see Forking in Perl.

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