Removing zombie processes
Mar 05, 2010, 19:02 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jesse Smith)
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"Dawn-of-the-data asks: What is a zombie process and how do I
get rid of it?
"DistroWatch answers: UNIX administrators have colourful names
and descriptions for things, especially when it comes to processes.
For example, when one program or process starts another process,
the original is referred to as the "parent process" and the new
process is called the "child process". When a child process is
finished its task it "dies". The parent process is notified of its
child's death and the child's information is removed from the
"But sometimes a child process dies and the parent process
doesn't stop to collect the information. When that happens, the
child process itself is removed from the system, but a marker or
"death certificate" is left behind, waiting to be collected. These
uncollected death certificates are referred to as "zombie
processes". These are rarely problems in themselves as they take up
very little memory, but finding zombie processes usually means
there's a bug in the parent program."