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301
votes
9answers
121k views

When should I not kill -9 a process?

I am always very hesitant to run kill -9, but I see other admins do it almost routinely. I figure there is probably a sensible middle ground, so: When and why should kill -9 be used? When and why ...
79
votes
2answers
10k views

How does Linux “kill” a process?

It often baffles me that, although I have been working professionally with computers for several decades and Linux for a decade, I actually treat most of the OS' functionality as a black box, not ...
33
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is the default process creation mechanism fork?

The UNIX system call for process creation, fork(), creates a child process by copying the parent process. My understanding is that this is almost always followed by a call to exec() to replace the ...
30
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a “subreaper” process?

The word "subreaper" is used in some answers. Searching Google also turn up entries where the word is "just used". How can I understand what a "subreaper" is?
28
votes
4answers
2k views

python vs bc in evaluating 6^6^6

I am evaluating the expression 6^6^6 using python and bc separately. The content of the python file is print 6**6**6. When I execute time python test.py, I get the output as real 0m0.067s ...
26
votes
2answers
5k views

Getting a window's PID by clicking on it

Is there any package which shows PID of a window by clicking on it?
22
votes
1answer
13k views

What is the maximum value of the PID of a process?

What is the maximum value of the PID of a process? Also, is it possible to change the PID of a running process?
20
votes
2answers
35k views

How can I kill a <defunct> process whose parent is init?

Transmission is intermittently hanging on my NAS. If I send SIGTERM, it doesn't disappear from the process list and a <defunct> label appears next to it. If I send a SIGKILL, it still doesn't ...
20
votes
2answers
394 views

Can a zombie have orphans? Will the orphan children be disturbed by reaping the zombie?

As I understand it, a zombie process has died but still exists as a placeholder in the process table until its parent (or init if the zombie is itself an orphan) checks its exit status. And my ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

What happens if you edit a script during execution?

I have a general question, which might be a result of misunderstanding of how processes are handled in Linux. For my purposes I am going to define a 'script' as a snippet of bash code saved to a text ...
17
votes
2answers
786 views

How are the processes in UNIX numbered?

I can't find any pattern when I look at the numbering of PIDs in process table (ps -a), as the PIDs are not subsequent numbers and sometimes there are large "gaps" between those numbers. Is it ...
16
votes
1answer
27k views

What does this process STAT indicates?

If you check the STAT column in above image you will see Ss S S< SN and R+ What does this indicates ? Process states. If yes,Then what is the significance of 'Ss S< SN and R+'?
16
votes
3answers
15k views

How to Throttle per process I/O to a max limit?

I'm looking for a way to limit a processes disk io to a set speed limit. Ideally the program would work similar to this: $ limitio --pid 32423 --write-limit 1M Limiting process 32423 to 1 megabyte ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

What's the difference between pkill and killall?

I know that pkill has more filtering rules than killall. My question is, what is the difference between: pkill [signal] name and killall [signal] name I've read that killall is more effective ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a top-like command that shows the network bandwidths and file accesses of running processes

For example, we'd like to see: PROCESS IF TX RX FILE(regular) R/W prog1 eth0 200kB/s 12kB/s -- -- wlan0 12kB/s 100kB/s -- ...
15
votes
6answers
13k views

How to make a process invisible to other users?

How could you launch a process and make it invisible to the top command? The process is started by a normal user (not root), and should not be visible to other normal users.
14
votes
9answers
18k views

Ensure a process is always running

I started hosting sites a while back using Cherokee. For external sources (FastCGI, etc) it has an option to launch the process if it can't find one running on the designated socket or port. This is ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

Per process firewall?

I've been reading around but can't seem to find a way to create per-process firewall rules. I know about iptables --uid-owner but that only works for outgoing traffic. I've considered scripting ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What does a niceness value of (-) mean?

According to the man page, and wikipedia; nice ranges from -20 to 20. Yet when I run the following command, I find some processes have a non numerical value such as (-). See the sixth column from ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Kill a suspended process?

I was slightly confused by: % vim tmp zsh: suspended vim tmp % kill %1 % jobs [1] + suspended vim tmp % kill -SIGINT %1 % jobs [1] + suspended vim tmp % kill -INT %1 % jobs [1] + suspended ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

How to check, which limit was exceeded? (Process terminated because of ulimit. )

Let's assume process runs in ulimited environment : ( ulimit ... -v ... -t ... -x 0 ... ./program ) Program is terminated. There might be many reasons : memory/time/file limit exceeded ; just ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

'kill java' doesn't kill java

I am running debian right now and sometimes I need to kill java manually from the terminal, but when I try kill #pid# or pkill java nothing happens. No console output (ok, that's normal) and java is ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Simulate an unkillable process in D state

For catastrophe testing scenarios on out server environment we're looking for an easy way to make a process stuck in D (uninterruptible sleep) state. Any easy ways? An example C sample code would be ...
7
votes
3answers
89k views

How can I see what processes are running?

I use Ubuntu Server 10.10 and I would like to see what processes are running. I know that PostgreSQL is running on my machine but I can not see it with the top or ps commands, so I assume that they ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

What does <defunct> mean in the output of ps?

I had issued the ps -ef|grep java command and this is one of the entries that I got : subhrcho 875 803 0 Jan23 pts/5 00:02:27 [java] <defunct> What is <defunct> implying here ? ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Simple queuing system?

Given a commodity PC, we would like to use it to execute some tasks in the background round the clock. Basically, we would like to have commands like: add-task *insert command here* list-tasks ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Systemd and process spawning

Don't normally post here but I am ripping my hair out over this one. I have a Python script that forks when it launches, and is responsible for starting a bunch of other processes. This script used ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do top and ps show different PIDs for the same processes?

When I run top -H, I see that my multiple mysql threads all have the same PID. However, in ps -eLf I see each one has a different PID: ps -eLf UID PID PPID LWP C NLWP STIME TTY ...
6
votes
3answers
456 views

Undo bg; Undo putting a process into the background?

I've started a long running and machine hog process. I've hit CTRL-Z to stop it. I've then put it in the background with bg. Oops, I should have restarted with fg so that I could easily stop and start ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

What is a command to find priority of process in Linux?

How can i view the priority of a specific process ?
6
votes
1answer
409 views

Difference between closing the terminal using the closing button, and Ctrl-D

When I'm launching a background process and then closes the terminal using the window's closing button, the background process gets killed. However if I close the terminal using Ctrl+D, the background ...
6
votes
2answers
312 views

How is a graphical application started from a bash session connected to that bash session?

When I start a graphical application from a terminal running bash, that application is somehow connected to that bash session. For example, when the applications dumps some text it will appear in the ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Using `kill -s 0 $pid` vs `[[ -e /proc/$pid ]]` to detect if PID is running

One of the idioms often used to check if process is running is to use kill -s 0 $pid. My question is, does it have any upsides over using [[ -e /proc/$pid ]] construct? The script I'm writing is ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

kill -9 hangs, unable to kill process (murder proof process) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What if ‘kill -9’ does not work? I guess its a bit late to ask this, but for future reference; I was called to look at a server today after a customer was reporting ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

A gzip process regularly runs on my system, how do I figure out what is triggering it?

For a while now, I have had the problem that a gzip process randomly starts on my Kubuntu system, uses up quite a bit of resources and causes my notebook fan to go crazy. The process shows up as gzip ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What happens to suspended jobs in unix?

We can issue CTRL+Z to suspend any jobs in Unix and then later on bring them back to life using fg or bg. I want to understand what happens to those jobs that are suspended like this ? Are they ...
5
votes
2answers
476 views

Process owner vs process user (Gnome's system monitor)

Gnome's system monitor has a "User" column in the Processes tab. There's also an "Owner" column, (that seems to be hidden by default). Most of the processes have the same values on both columns. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between exiting a process via Ctrl+C vs issuing a kill -9 command?

I know I can kill any process with kill -9 command . But sometimes i see that even if I have terminated a program with CTRL+C , the process doesn't get killed . So I want to know the difference ...
5
votes
1answer
415 views

SIGKILLing after a grace period

I've seen a lot of process managers that try to do this. It was my understanding that you should only use SIGTERM to kill a process. The process could take an unknown amount of time to clean up after ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

A script's background process is still alive after closing the terminal

This is more of a process management/signal handling question than a Bash question. It just uses Bash to explain the issue. I'm running a Bash script in which I run a background process. This is the ...
5
votes
2answers
388 views

How can I see i/o stats for a briefly running process?

For long running processes like init, I can do things like $ cat /proc/[pid]/io What can I do if I want to see stats for a briefly running process such as a command line utility like ls? I don't ...
5
votes
2answers
537 views

Set process exclusivity in Linux

I am trying to measure the performance of a process. I have widely ranging performance measurements on small bit of single-threaded deterministic code that should perform the same every time. I would ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

grep invading my ps [duplicate]

When I'm checking for some process, I usually write ps aux | grep myprocess And sometimes I get the output of eimantas 11998 0.0 0.0 8816 740 pts/0 S+ 07:45 0:00 grep myprocess if ...
4
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the difference between ps and top command?

What is the difference between ps and top command ? I see that both can display information about running processes . Which one should be used when ?
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Is it the process that cleans itself on termination or the kernel?

Recently I found this in a powerpoint presentation: When a program is compiled and linked, the linker inserts some extra code in the program. It is this code that calls the main function about the ...
4
votes
3answers
136 views

How to show quoted command list?

ps -o command shows each command on a separate line, with space separated, unquoted arguments: $ ps -o command COMMAND bash ps -o command This can be a problem when checking whether the quoting was ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Does a process invoking oom-killer kill itself?

Looking through syslog, I see lines like dd invoked oom-killer. Does this mean dd is being killed by the oom-killer or does it mean dd asked oom-killer to go kill another high memory process?
4
votes
1answer
256 views

What is the default or most commonly used multiprocessing model in Linux? Symmetric or Asymmetric?

What the multiprocessing model for Linux? Is there a default or most commonly used model? Is it similar or very different from say BSD or even the MS Windows kernel? If SMP is used normally, can ...
4
votes
3answers
129 views

Disallow File IO for a process except for FIFOs

How do you start a process that cannot do any file IO (opening / closing files, creating / deleting files, reading / writing files, etc.), except to read and write to pre-created FIFOs? (chroot will ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Find the process id of a java application in a bash script (to see if the target application is already running)

I know there are a million questions on getting the process ID, but this one seems to be unique. Google has not given me the answer, so I hope stackexhange will help rather than close this question. ...