When I run top > 1, I get the following output:

I was reading this Q&A on Stack Overflow about how to delete sleeping child processes. I think those "child processes" are what I have shown here.

I ran a script which led to listing these sleeping processes. I killed the PID of the script, but noticed all of these sleeping processes still running.

I don't know what the process ID of those processes are, so I don't know how to kill them. Is there a way to know the parent process ID (PID) of the sleeping process?

How do I determine that PID so that I can kill them?

  • Um, most of the processes in that screenshot should not be killed as they take care of pretty important system functions.
    – Kusalananda
    Aug 26, 2017 at 12:09
  • 1
    Also, please, don't post images of text.
    – Kusalananda
    Aug 26, 2017 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


Please use the following command to find the PID of the process you wish to kill, e.g. 1811 is the child process.

ps -f 1811


ps -o ppid= 1811

This will return the parent process id which you can then use.

  • 1
    Hi thanks for commenting. Right, but how do I get the child PID?! In the screen shot there are several process' running on each core that are sleeping. I'm trying to determine any of their IDs so I can kill them. I tried your answer with the id in the screen ps -f 126918 but that returned an empty set of data UID PID PPID C STIME TTY STAT TIME CMD
    – Doug Fir
    Aug 24, 2017 at 10:57
  • This response should help you - [askubuntu.com/questions/549781/…
    – nitinr708
    Aug 24, 2017 at 11:02
  • Thanks for the link. I went there and typed their command to generate a list of sleeping PIDs. I then tried your answer and got No such process? For example, the last item on the list generated from the linked answers code snippet was 127566. So I tried ps -f 127566 which returned an empty data row again. Any ideas on where next?
    – Doug Fir
    Aug 24, 2017 at 11:10
  • We can try to see what is blocking the process. Please try this - strace -p pid
    – nitinr708
    Aug 24, 2017 at 11:18
  • strace -p 127566 strace: attach: ptrace(PTRACE_ATTACH, ...): No such process. This PID was taken from the list generated by ps h -eo s,pid | awk '{ if ($1 == "S" || $1 == "D") { print $2 } }'
    – Doug Fir
    Aug 24, 2017 at 11:21

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