I'm looking at an init.d script written by a previous coworker which is not functioning correctly now. It's running on centos-6

After some experimentation I found the cause of the issue. He wrote the script to wait up to 30 seconds for a kill -TERM command to runciton before reporting an error. To do this he is running the command:

kill -0 $pid

to test if the killed program has died yet.

The kill -0 command is throwing an error:

/etc/init.d/celerybeat line 211: kill (<pid>) - No such process

it then exists immediately after this line fails.

This is what I would expect with set -e, but the script does not run set -e. In fact it has the line commented out with a comment saying that the kill -0 command will fail if it's set, so he was very aware he didn't want it set.

This happens rather I run it via service or run the script direclty from the /etc/init.d directory

So..why is the script running as if set -e is set? and more importantly, how do I prevent it from running that way, or rewrite the line to check if the pid is running without throwing an exception?


You can disable the "exit on error" with set +e or set +o errexit, or run the command in a conditional so the error exit doesn't apply. Simplest would be:

somecmd ... || true

But that would destroy the return value, and you probably need it as kill -0 doesn't do much except set it. So maybe something like this:

if kill -0 "$pid" 2>/dev/null ; then
    echo it lives

As for the "why", I think CentOS 6 runs Upstart, and at least some Ubuntu documentation seems to state that Upstart runs scripts with set -e enabled.

  • By pure chance I was looking into CentOS upstart the other day and from what I could tell centos 7 runs it, but not centos 6. – dsollen Jul 25 '17 at 15:36
  • @dsollen, what I can find (i.e. Wikipedia) says that RHEL/CentOS 6 uses upstart, and RHEL/CentOS 7 uses systemd. But of course you know your system best. – ilkkachu Jul 25 '17 at 18:07

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