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  Author  Subject: Re: Zombies
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Posted on 11-03-2002 05:44 p.m. ET  reply

Original Poster: Mark Krentel

> I ran top today and found 1 zombie.
> How do you get rid of a zombie?

You don't. You could reboot which would flush out the process table,
but that's hardly worth it. Zombies are harmless, unless you collect
so many of them (several hundred) that it fills up the process table.

A zombie is a process that has terminated but its parent hasn't
collected its return code. All processes when they terminate produce
a small integer (0-127) as a return code, and it's the duty of the
parent process to collect the return code. Technically, the kernel
can't remove the process until the parent does this. So actually,
it's the parent's fault. But zombies are harmless, it'll get cleaned
up when the parent dies.

--Mark

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