[Smaug] Dumb zombie question

David A. Gatwood dgatwood at gatwood.net
Fri, 31 May 2002 00:49:08 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 31 May 2002, Paul Thomas wrote:

> On Thu, 30 May 2002, David A. Gatwood wrote:
> > On Thu, 30 May 2002, Paul Thomas wrote:
> > 
> > > 
> > > Hi all,
> > > 
> > > I have some zombie processes that are smarter than I am and
> > > I don't know how to make them go away without rebooting.
> > 
> > A zombie is just the unreaped child process of a currently running
> > process.  Figure out what process ran the zombies and restart it, and the
> > zombies will go away by themselves.  In a ps -aux, look at the PPID
> > (parent process id) field, and kill that process.
> Gave it a go and nothing showed up for PPID's. Aren't zombies the
> unreaped child processes of parents that aren't running anymore?

Nope.  When a process dies, if it has any child processes, they are
automatically adopted by init.  Any process whose parent is init is
cleaned up immediately if it dies.

It's remotely possible that what you're seeing aren't, purely speaking,
zombies, but rather processes with a kill -9 pending on them that are
stuck in an uninterruptible sleep (i.e. indicating either a kernel
deadlock or a hardware malfunction).


David A. Gatwood                                dgatwood@gatwood.net
Developer Docs Writer                             dgatwood@apple.com
Apple Computer                                  dgatwood@mklinux.org

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