here's a nutkicker. in my five years with linux, i've never had this problem before.
this is a plain jane RedHat 6.1 (no upgrades except for PHP3 and mysql)
i come to work, the computer is 'frozen'. (i use kde and rarely log off. last night i had run several programs that interact with MySQL running on the same server. number of select statements == 100,000 if not more.)
i had to resort to telnetting in because tty7 was frozen and couldn't do ctrl-alt-Fn
i tried kill -9 <zombiePID>. no kill. (i guess i needed a wooden stick!)
i had about 38 processes, 33 of em were zombies. including all forks of httpd, mysqld, smbd etc..
did sync and ran a script that goes:
sleep 60 #so that i get time to get out of telnet before the halt begins.
nohup <scriptname> &
nothing happened. i log back in thru telnet, turns out that script had been zombified too. what's up?
the only way i could turn that sucker off (to kill those zombies) was to flip the power switch at the back. now i'm waiting for fsck to finish checking some 6-8Gigs of harddisk.
anyone have any ideas of what to do in this kind of situation? why this happened in the first place?