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Thread: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

  1. #11
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

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  2. #12
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    Hal Pomeranz, Deer Run Associates
    [[ Various Linux/Unix related documents ]]
    [[ Command-Line Kung Fu blog ]]

  3. #13
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    I looked into my zombie sh process a little further.

    It's always got a parent process ID (PPID) of 5668

    I looked up what that processcis using:

    ps -F -p 5668

    It tells me that process 5668 is /usr/bin/python/

    The parent process of /usr/bin/python in turn is /sbin/init which as I understand is responsible for calling a whole bunch of startup scripts at boot.

    I'm not sure how to proceed from this point. Should I kill the /usr/bin/python process every time I boot my computer? Will that impact other programs on my computer that are using Python?

    Any ideas on how to further isolate why exactly Python is always leaving this zombie process?

  4. #14
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterSBuntu View Post
    I'm not sure how to proceed from this point. Should I kill the /usr/bin/python process every time I boot my computer? Will that impact other programs on my computer that are using Python?
    You can kill this process without impacting other Python processes on the system. But it's going to be annoying to do it on each boot up.

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterSBuntu View Post
    Any ideas on how to further isolate why exactly Python is always leaving this zombie process?
    It's possible that the process logged some stuff to syslog before going defunct, and the log messages will be tagged with the process ID number. So you might try:

    Code:
    sudo grep -r <pid> /var/log
    Obviously, substitute the PID you got from the ps command for <pid> in the command above.

    I'm not sure what happens in /proc when a process goes defunct. If you can cd into /proc/<pid>, you might be able to figure out something about the process from the various files in that directory.

    1) "cat cmdline" should give you the name the process is running under (although this may just return "defunct" unfortunately)

    2) "sudo cat environ | perl -pe 's/\000/\n/g'" gets you the environment variable settings for the process

    3) "sudo ls -l fd" shows you what files the process currently has open

    4) "sudo ls -l cwd" shows you the current working directory of the process

    5) "sudo strings exe | less" will let you see the strings embedded in the executable (something like the "usage" message or help text embedded in the executable may tip you off about what the process is)
    Hal Pomeranz, Deer Run Associates
    [[ Various Linux/Unix related documents ]]
    [[ Command-Line Kung Fu blog ]]

  5. #15
    Bubba64 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Smile Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisubuntu View Post
    I don't think a few zombie processes should require a reinstall of the OS
    Zombie processes are just processes that did not get 'cleaned up' by the parent process. They consume no resources and don't do anything.
    I know you see zombie, and look for your shotgun I had a few on an install but after awhile they cleared as this poster suggests. All the posts on this I have seen say don't worry about it. you can run top in terminal and get a quick look at running systems.

  6. #16
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterSBuntu View Post
    I looked into my zombie sh process a little further.

    It's always got a parent process ID (PPID) of 5668

    I looked up what that processcis using:

    ps -F -p 5668

    It tells me that process 5668 is /usr/bin/python/
    I've looked at a bit more and the parent process of the zombie sh, ppid 5668, is daemon.py, not /usr/bin/python.

    Daemon.py is the startup script for the WICD network manager that I'm using.

    Is anyone else that's exeperiencing this problem using WICD?

  7. #17
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    daemon.py is being run as "/usr/bin/python daemon.py", so techincally python is the parent. It's a known wicd issue, some process getting called by wicd to monitor network status isn't getting reaped properly. Every time the status is updated, the old zombie goes away and a new one appears (which is why the pid keeps changing). I haven't put a ton of time in figuring out which call is doing it, as I'm using a unreleased development version that doesn't run any subprocesses to monitor the network (so there are no zombies). If the bug still exists in the upcoming version (which still uses external program calls, but much fewer), I'll make some time to track down the problem call. If you want to test it out, you can check it out from our subversion repository. But really, the zombie is nothing to worry too much about, as someone said earlier, it takes up no memory and doesn't actually do anything. It just can't be cleared from the running process table because it's parent doesn't know it exited.

  8. #18
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    Quote Originally Posted by imdano View Post
    daemon.py is being run as "/usr/bin/python daemon.py", so techincally python is the parent. It's a known wicd issue, some process getting called by wicd to monitor network status isn't getting reaped properly. Every time the status is updated, the old zombie goes away and a new one appears (which is why the pid keeps changing). I haven't put a ton of time in figuring out which call is doing it, as I'm using a unreleased development version that doesn't run any subprocesses to monitor the network (so there are no zombies). If the bug still exists in the upcoming version (which still uses external program calls, but much fewer), I'll make some time to track down the problem call. If you want to test it out, you can check it out from our subversion repository. But really, the zombie is nothing to worry too much about, as someone said earlier, it takes up no memory and doesn't actually do anything. It just can't be cleared from the running process table because it's parent doesn't know it exited.
    Thanks a lot for the info, much appreciated.

    Still learning the ropes on Linux and anything 'weird' that is root related tends to freak me out.

  9. #19
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    Re: Zombie shell + hidden process in ubuntu 8.04

    Today's updates fixed my problem which was caused by the deskbar applet.
    Debian? Its easy:
    Stable--> .--> ..
    Testing (from scratch): --> ...

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