Subject: Re: Unkillable process
To: Bjoern Labitzke <>
From: Mason Loring Bliss <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/08/1999 15:24:34
On Sun, Feb 07, 1999 at 04:54:57PM +0100, Bjoern Labitzke wrote:

> root       558  0.0  0.5   284  708 00- IEs+  2:25PM    0:00.06 /usr/pkg/sbin/v
> This is an extract from my ps-list right now. The process (vgetty) is
> trying to exit for over half an hour now, but nothing happens! The system
> continues to work properly, except that the serial port tty00 claimed by
> vgetty can't be freed. Not even a kill -9 can terminate the process. Any
> clues what is going on here?

My understanding (recently gained) is that a process in this state is waiting
inside the kernel somewhere... It hasn't returned from a system call that's
inside the kernel, and hence is in the same class as the kernel, and thus
can't be killed, just as the kernel itself isn't available for killing.

The suggestion that was made to me was to try to find a process that may be
holding up some resource the kernel needs, which the kernel (and, hence, the
unkillable process) awaits.

If my understanding here is flawed, I'd love to have it corrected.

Mason Loring Bliss             ((  "In the drowsy dark cave of the mind dreams  ))  build  their nest  with fragments  dropped ((   from day's caravan." - Rabindranath Tagore