[plug] zombie

Matt Kemner zombie at penguincare.com.au
Mon Oct 8 16:51:55 WST 2007

Hi Alex

> How do I kill a zombie process?

Thou canst not kill that which doth not live[1]

Basically a zombie process is a child process that has completed and
exited, and its parent process has not got around to reap()

It could be due to a badly written parent process, or perhaps the parent
has crashed.  If you kill the parent process, then the zombie process will
be assigned to init instead, which will reap it.  To find out what its
parent process is, run "ps l <pid>" and look for the PPID column.

It takes no resources other than an entry in the process table, so they
are perfectly harmless to leave around, unless you have tens of thousands
of them and you are likely to run out of process IDs

Kind Regards,

 - Matt "Zombie" Kemner

[1] But you can blast it into chunky kibbles!  -- from the Quake Manual

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