Subject: Zombies and other problems...
To: NetBSD current-users <>
From: Bjoern Labitzke <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/17/1999 11:48:01

[i386-architecture, NetBSD-current (supped and built nearly daily, last

For some days now (sorry, canīt fix a date) I am experiencing occurences
of zombies which wonīt exit completely. At the beginning it seemed to
include only one process (vgetty, see my question regarding "Unkillable
process"), now I get that behaviour more often. In pine it looks like
this: I want to send an encrypted mail, so the encryption filter with pgp
is called. PGP does its work, exits, but remains in zombie state and pine
waits for ages. When I kill pine, the zombie PGP gets cleaned up. The same
happens with a sendmail process, when I want to send a mail. The mail gets
sent, sendmail exits, but stays in zombie state, until I kill pine.

I am not sure, if the vgetty problem is related to that. There some error
on the line occurred, vgetty wants to exit to allow another instance of
itself to be run, but it doesnīt exit completely, remaining around as a
zombie. I donīt know which process to kill here, probably init, but that
wonīt work for obvious reasons.

The thing that complicates it all: This behaviour occurs regularly, but
not always. And I canīt see, what triggers it.

BTW: My xemacs 20.4 stopped working, too. It is dumping core now when
started. I am not sure when I used it the last time, but I guess it was
sometime in the last four weeks. Before that I never had any problems.
Even the build of xemacs from the package now dumps core. 

Somehow this all sounds as if something got changed in the way processes
are handled in the kernel. Any clues anyone? Which information should I
provide in addition?

Thanks in advance,

Bjoern Labitzke  <>
   Use PGP! (Don't you use envelopes for your letters?)
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