How to Clean up an Orphan Process in HP-UX?

Posted on 1997-06-03
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Suppose we have a process, and it forks a child process, in HP-UX 10.0.  If the parent terminates (in an unexpected way), we may want to let that orphan child process exit.  How can this be implemented?  Or in other words, how can the child process know its parent has terminated?  (It seems signal SIGHUP doesn't work, and the system doesn't clean up it in a short time.)
Question by:cheng060397
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Expert Comment

ID: 2006352
Where are you trying to handle the SIGHUP in parent- or child-process? Normally the signal-handling in HP-UX is very clean an works fine...

Author Comment

ID: 2006353
Thanks, Beckers!  What I understand is that SIGHUP is generated when parent process terminates.  So I let child handle it, but it turned out that the child couldn't receive that signal.  (If the child called kill(getpid(), SIGTSTP) to suspend itself, it would receive it. (See Stevens' book, pages 256-258.)  But no one wants to suspend the child.)  My code looks like:
void main()
    childpid = fork();    
    if (childpid == -1) {
      perror("fork error\n");
    else if(childpid == 0) {                   /* child */      
        signal(SIGHUP, sig_func);
        /* some child code here */
    else {                                 /* parent */
        /* some parent code here */

void sig_func()                             /* signal handler */
    printf("SIGHUP received.\n");


Accepted Solution

beckers012097 earned 100 total points
ID: 2006354
Try using a signal-handler in parent-process (for all fatal signals like SIGKILL, SIGSEV etc.). In this signal handler shut down the child-process (you know the pid from fork) by sending a "soft"-kill. Then after recieving the childs exit-status terminate the parent-process.

But I don't understand the reason for not getting SIGHUP...
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Author Comment

ID: 2006355
Thanks, beckers, but I am not sure those fatal signals can cover all unexpected terminations.

Expert Comment

ID: 2006356
They should, there are no other reasons for terminating a program than the signals you can catch. Or I understood it wrong for 10 years... Catch all signals?!?

Author Comment

ID: 2006357
Thanks, beckers!


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