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Old 08-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #1
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kill zombie process

I have a process that I cannot kill with kill -9
Any ideas on how to go about this?

[root keys]# ps aux | grep openvpn
nobody 3316 2.2 0.0 0 0 pts/2 Z 19:19 1:05 [openvpn] <defunct>

It is an openvpn process but I cannot retsrat the service as I alreday have another openvpn service running on the server so when I do openvpn service restart, it won;t know which service to restart.
Old 08-07-2010, 03:41 PM   #2
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You cannot get rid of the defunct (zombie) process by restarting the service. You need to reboot your machine.

A few defunct processes can occur over time and you don't need to reboot every time you see one. They aren't active and only take up very little space. If you get dozens of them over a short time period you need to look into the reason why this happens.

Hope this helps.
Old 08-07-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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+ if it's a sane SysV init script it should use the /var/run/ PId to get the right process context.
Old 08-07-2010, 11:09 PM   #4
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You don't need to reboot to kill a zombie process. Zombies are processes that are just haven't been wait(2)'ed on by their parents -- often because the parent has hung (or there's a bug somewhere in it). If you kill the parent the zombie will be adopted by init, which will clean it up.


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