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Re: `who -d' Dead processes

 --- Floris Bruynooghe <fb102@soton.ac.uk> wrote: 
> Hello

Hello -
> I had a computer (old PC) running at my student house over the holidays
> and was using it (as I am now) to ssh into and do my normal work etc.
> Just by accident I discovered the `who -d' command and saw I had a
> couple of 100 processes listed that way.  Also they where using up my
> pty's.  Coz I was scared of running out of pty's I rebooted the system
> since then.  But I get again lots of dead processes.

You say Dead (I assume state 'D').

> The thing is that afaik these processes should be connected to init at
> some point and then cleaned up.  But the oldest such process was about
> 28 days old at the time of discovery.  This is what made me concerned.
> If I can list them, can't I clean them up?  And why doesn't init do it
> by itself?

It's not down to init, it is down to the kernel. But the only way you can
clear this up is by killing the parent process of the dead processes
(pstree helps here). If this is happening on a regular basis, then the
error is something else, _possibly_ hardware. Note that if the parent
process is indeed init (which it shouldn't be - it ought to be the shell
that you execute the 'who -d' command from), then there is no way of
killing that properly.

-- Thomas Adam

"The Linux Weekend Mechanic" -- http://linuxgazette.net
"TAG Editor"                 -- http://linuxgazette.net

"<shrug> We'll just save up your sins, Thomas, and punish 
you for all of them at once when you get better. The 
experience will probably kill you. :)"

 -- Benjamin A. Okopnik (Linux Gazette Technical Editor)

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