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Old 04-20-2006, 06:31 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: Gentoo
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Zombie/Sleeping processes hogging CPU

Hi there,

I'm having a rather strange problem with my new Gentoo install. I'm using kernel 2.6.15-r1 with ALSA 1.0.10 on an Asus P5GDC-V deluxe mobo with CMI9880 onboard sound. Here's the deal. Whenever any sound-related app tries to use the default sound device, the thing locks up and becomes unkillable. I'm talking IO-blocked infinite sleep state. If I try to kill its parent, the process latches onto 'init' and I then have to reboot the computer to get my CPU back. Even switching to runlevel-1 won't kill the zombie. Even more strange is Firefox exhibiting identical behaviour (seemingly randomly, but it may just have been trying to use one of the nsplugins).
Has anybody else experienced this on other distros? How have you [how would you] managed [manage] to resolve this?

Old 04-20-2006, 08:51 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian Testing / Unstable
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Are you trying to kill the app from inside the desktop (i.e. GNOME or KDE?). Have you tried to kill it from the local console (via CTRL-F1 or CTRL-F2)? If that fails, try logging in remotely (using PuTTY or SSH) from another machine BEFORE starting the app that locks up Linux and do (possibly) starting, monitoring, debugging and killing from there. I've had severe performance degradation conditions where it was only possible to diagnose and control things remotely.

Hope this helps with the debug process.
Old 04-21-2006, 11:22 AM   #3
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Distribution: Gentoo
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No I've tried killing the processes through both KsysGuard and regular console. I've even logged out completely, yet the process initially spawned by my non-root account refuses to go away. Even if root is the only user logged in at runlevel 1 (which should be a "single user" level anyway), the 'Z'/'D' state process persists.

Unfortunately I don't have a second computer to run SSH from, and the ones at my local library run stripped down WinXP installations. My best bet otherwise is university, which isn't close by. I'll try switching to a newer kernel/alsa-libs in the meantime.

Thanks for the response!

Last edited by nomind; 04-21-2006 at 11:24 AM.


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