When kill [pid] does not work...


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# 1  
When kill [pid] does not work...

Hi,

On my Linux machine, using Bash, I sometimes run into a situation where doing the following does not seem to work at all.

Code:
kermit@fastbox ~ $ ps -A | grep firefox-bin
 5375 ?        00:06:57 firefox-bin <defunct>
 5624 ?        00:00:00 firefox-bin
kermit@fastbox ~ $ kill 5624
kermit@fastbox ~ $ ps -A | grep firefox-bin
 5375 ?        00:06:57 firefox-bin <defunct>
 5624 ?        00:00:00 firefox-bin
kermit@fastbox ~ $

Why is kill not killing the process?
# 2  
What most often "defunct" means is a 'zombie' , so you have to 'kill'em all' Smilie you can either "pkill -9 firefox" - guaranteed that all processes with firefox in their names will die, though it's dangerous, or, you can 'kill -9' which is not the most elegant way, but it works. The regular kill is the default, nice way, whereas -9 flag cannot be ignored.
# 3  
Ok thanks. I ended up rebooting, but the next time I have an issue such as that with Firefox, I will give your suggestion a try.
# 4  
kill with no signal number "asks politly to the process to end"
so, if its zombied, it wont reply
be a macho and use -9 :P
# 5  
You can't kill a zombie, that's what zombie means, it's already killed but it won't go away.
# 6  
only process can be killed.
zombie is not at all a process.
It just represents its existence in the past occupying a slot in the kernel process table and as such it is not a process
# 7  
Quote:
What most often "defunct" means is a 'zombie'
Hi Sysgate,

I don't understand when you use the term - "most often"

Does that mean a non-defunct process can be zombie ? Smilie
I haven't heard of this before or came across such.
Would you mind giving some explanation about this ? Smilie
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