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Troubleshooting Defunct (Zombie) Processes on Linux

Mar 25, 2008, 09:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Daniel P. Noe)

"At work (LNI) we have a tool which implements a remotely controlled RDMA agent using the OpenFabrics interface. The agent is used for compliance, interoperability, and performance testing. For quite some time we've had a problem where sometimes the agent hangs and then after sending SIGINT (ctrl-C or kill) the agent shows up as 'defunct' with a Zombie state in the output of ps.

"Normally a zombie process means that the process has died but remains in the process table because the parent hasn't called wait() to 'reap' the process and retrieve the return code..."

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