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what does [fping] <defunct> mean (this is a process)

Posted on 2006-06-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I notice some abnormal operations in a program that uses fping

When i look at my processes by typing [ps aux]
i get the following:

root      3844  0.0  0.0     0    0 ?        Z    13:35   0:00 [fping] <defunct>

What does this {[fping] <defunct } really mean?
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Question by:247RealMedia
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11 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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ravenpl earned 2000 total points
ID: 16872563
It means that this process is a zombie process.
It already ended it's execution, hence it's father haven't waited for it (gahered, ripped) or still have some system resources (is in syscall, hence already killed)
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by:pjedmond
ID: 16877576
A definition of a <defunct> process:

http://foldoc.org/?defunct+process

fping is a parallel method of 'ping' ing to check for the ability to reach otehr hosts. Because it is in parallel, Ican easily reproduce your 'situation' with fping. In practice, you will notice that while fping is running the pids (2nd column under ps -aux) changes as it is a different process thread that is running.

You will notice that the process is using no cpu time and no memory, and is merely waiting for its existance to be flushed from the process tables. In practice, most defunct processes get cleared up automatically within 3-4 seconds, but occassionally (for whatever reason) one stubbonly remains. Under these circumstances 'kill -9 pid' is normally effective.

Effectively these are a normal transient state of some processes. You don't really need to worry about them, unless they dont get deleted automatically, and start accumulating.

HTH:)
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by:ravenpl
ID: 17167376
> Under these circumstances 'kill -9 pid' is normally effective.
Zombie is immune to any signal - as it's already does not exists - right?

pjedmond: with all respect I noticed that You often just rewriting same answer as was alredy given. I assume that You invented those by Yourself(You have proved that by answering Qs in first place), however what is the point in writing same things? Gaining point in such situations like this? Or just You have irresistible need to be shown in every question?
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by:Cyclops3590
ID: 17167636
>> Under these circumstances 'kill -9 pid' is normally effective.
>Zombie is immune to any signal - as it's already does not exists - right?

In my experience that is right, sometimes there are other processes that have to be killed first and then the zombie process goes away (sometimes anyway)
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by:ravenpl
ID: 17167940
True - if it's father of the zombie...
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by:Cyclops3590
ID: 17168140
yup, that's the only times that way has worked for me anyway
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17168413
I just want to appear in every Q;)

ravenpl - I suspect this is one of those Qs where I've opened up loads of tabs, and started working through them, and lunch has interrupted or something else has heappened? It is honestly fairly difficult to keep track of the Qs that I answer, especially if you end up answering more questions than most other people on this site. Occassionally (as in this case) I end up duplicating the majority of the answer.

I'm more than happy to let ravenpl have the points.....

(   (()
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by:ravenpl
ID: 17168482
> I suspect this is one of those Qs where I've opened up loads of tabs
for 22 hours? Take a look at dates...

But I don't expect You to explain - just leaving a note.
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17169161
Well - I do leave firefox open for 5-6 days at a time - occassionally I miss one...or get one wrong...and yes, I've quit firefox with over 100 tabs open before!

(   (()
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