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Field size in ps

     I am working on improving the startup file for a daemon that
doesn't handle its pid file properly and consistently.  I am getting
the pid by piping the output of ps ax through grep and cut.  The PID
field in the ps output is 5 columns wide.  Is it a safe assumption
that the pid will never be larger than 5 characters?

     I am thinking of the case of machines that are up for long
periods of time, with many users.  Are pids of processes that are no
longer running eventually recycled?

  |_)  _  |_       Robert D. Hilliard    <hilliard@flinet.com>
  |_) (_) |_)      Palm City, FL  USA    PGP Key ID: A8E40EB9

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