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Pid file and process check

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# 1  
Old 07-17-2019
Pid file and process check

I am running ubuntu14.04
What I am trying to do is restart a process with a shell when pid is dead.
I restored pid nr in a file and check with ps aux | grep -v grep | grep $(cat *.pid)| awk '{ print $2 }'
While surfing on google, I have found an answer saying that restoring pid in a file for this purpose is not a good way.

Let me add some information on why not to use PID files. While they are very popular; they are also very flawed and there's no reason why you wouldn't just do it the correct way.

Consider this:

PID recycling (killing the wrong process):

/etc/init.d/foo start: start foo, write foo's PID to /var/run/foo.pid
A while later: foo dies somehow.
A while later: any random process that starts (call it bar) takes a random PID, imagine it taking foo's old PID.
You notice foo's gone: /etc/init.d/foo/restart reads /var/run/foo.pid, checks to see if it's still alive, finds bar, thinks it's foo, kills it, starts a new foo.
PID files go stale. You need over-complicated (or should I say, non-trivial) logic to check whether the PID file is stale, and any such logic is again vulnerable to 1..

What if you don't even have write access or are in a read-only environment?

It's pointless overcomplication; see how simple my example above is. No need to complicate that, at all.

See also: Are PID-files still flawed when doing it 'right'?

By the way; even worse than PID files is parsing ps! Don't ever do this.

ps is very unportable. While you find it on almost every UNIX system; its arguments vary greatly if you want non-standard output. And standard output is ONLY for human consumption, not for scripted parsing!
Parsing ps leads to a LOT of false positives. Take the ps aux | grep PID example, and now imagine someone starting a process with a number somewhere as argument that happens to be the same as the PID you stared your daemon with! Imagine two people starting an X session and you grepping for X to kill yours. It's just all kinds of bad.
If you don't want to manage the process yourself; there are some perfectly good systems out there that will act as monitor for your processes. Look into runit, for example.
Do you believe that bold part of the quote is correct?
How come a new process can have a pid nr of an old dead process?

Thanks in advance
# 2  
Old 07-17-2019
I don't know of any OS that randomly picks the next PID to use when creating a new process. But, it is theoretically possible to do it that way.

Most of the systems I have worked on have a maximum PID value that is a configuration parameter. They start out assigning PIDs from 1 and increment the PID they want to assign by one every time a new process is created (e.g., by fork()), but before assigning that value, they check to see if that PID is currently in use. If it is in use, the OS tries again with the next possible PID until it finds one that is not in use. Using this method, you won't run into problems with PID recycling unless there are so many processes running on your system that you don't have many possible PIDs available that aren't in use.

Furthermore, if you have a ps utility that conforms to POSIX requirements, you can ask ps to just print the fields you want to see and not have to worry about some unexpected value in a field you aren't interested in containing what looks like a PID. (Look at your man page for the ps -o format option.)
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# 3  
Old 07-18-2019
/var/run/ is supposed to be writable and volatile: to be cleaned during system boot, or an in-memory file system (e.g. tmpfs).
The daemon process should create the pidfile, and remove it when it is killed, in an exit handler that captures all kill signals. (Please do not kill -9 the daemon process!)
Further, an init script can check for an existing pidfile, if yes then check for validity and refuse to start a second daemon process. If the daemon-process runs as non-root, the init script creates a subdirectory and chowns it to the daemon user.

AIX generates random and big (7 or 8 digits) pids.
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