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Date:      Sun, 19 May 2013 15:28:00 -0500
From:      Joshua Isom <jrisom@gmail.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Unkillable processes
Message-ID:  <519935D0.5080202@gmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <CAO+PfDe_N+1imes3w9G+ogzd91EDtAiQEUrD2rHXY74s2HYHug@mail.gmail.com>
References:  <CAO+PfDe_N+1imes3w9G+ogzd91EDtAiQEUrD2rHXY74s2HYHug@mail.gmail.com>

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On 5/19/2013 3:00 PM, David Demelier wrote:
> Hello there,
>
> I've had a process on state "pfault" and it was just unkillable, kill
> -9 had no effects and because the script was doing an infinite loop
> the machine was slower and slower so the only way to fix that was a
> reboot.
>
> Why kill -9 has still no effects on some bad processes?
>
> Regards,
>
> --
> Demelier David

A process can be unkillable if it's holding a lock, like reading from 
disk.  Eventually, the lock will release and it should die.  You can use 
limits to change how much CPU and memory a process can use.  My guess is 
what happened is it started using a lot of memory, but you ran out and 
have a lot of swap.  It was trying to run while using your hard drive 
instead of ram.  With limits, you should be able to prevent it from 
using swap which could help, and cap the amount of ram and cpu.



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