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Old 11-15-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2010
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Collectd, zombie processes, email notifications.


Using Slackware.
Web/FTP server.

I configured collectd with "processes" plugin, and now I see that there are some reports about zombie processes (screenshot).

I wanted to ask if I can catch this processes somehow (and if I need to do this), as when I'm using top utility I see zombies very rare and they are disappearing quickly. Is it normal to have some zombies for a short while?

And I also wanted to ask some advices for collectd e-mail notifications. So far I'm only sure about hdd free space notifications. I also wanted to make notifications about zombie processes, but collectd reports them quite often, so I think I will receive to much of e-mails... Another idea is to make notifications about cpu (user | system) load, let's say when it is more than 95% and for a longer time, let's say 1 - 2 minutes and more, or something like this.

I have never used monitoring software before, so do not have a lot of experience, and I'm not sure on which events would be better to make/send notifications. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #2
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collectl is very nice for interactive stuff. (Playback mode) but as for alerts and notifications about CPU|Disk|Memory etc, I rely on zabbix.

Very configurable.
Old 11-19-2012, 07:48 AM   #3
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Thanks Habitual for your answer. Yes, I know zabbix, though didn't test it yet. I wanted to use collectd as it states to be less demanding on system resources.

Maybe I was not clear enough in my first post, but I didn't ask about how and what (which software) to use for sending notifications by e-mail, it's more or less clear, it is doable with collectd too. I wanted to know if there is some Best Practices for specifying conditions when this notifications should be send. I understand that this should decide admin for his particular server, but so far I'm not sure what to do with Zombie Processes. As I said already, there are Zombie Processes reported in "Processes Graph" (screenshot in my first post), and I wanted to know if it's normal in general that once in a while Zombies are appearing? I think ideally they shouldn't be there, even if they are appearing just for a few seconds.

During this time I already found which software is making Zombies, it is webmin. Here is lines from ps utility with Zombie Process:

1 S     0  4070     1  0  80   0 - 16497 poll_s ?        00:00:00
1 Z     0 10276  4070  1  80   0 -     0 exit   ?        00:00:00     /usr/libexec/we <defunct>
and it disappears very quickly, the same repeats after a short while, and that happens all the time while webmin is running. I will write about this in webmin forum of course, but so far question is about Zombies itself, on what conditions would be better to make e-mail notifications? Before I found out that something (webmin) is making Zombies all the time, I was sure to make notifications on any Zombie Process right after it's being detected, but now I'm a bit confused...

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Maris-S; 11-19-2012 at 07:49 AM.


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