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Kill a zombie process on Ubuntu

Paolo Caparrelli Linux 22 June 2022

To kill a zombie (process) you have to kill its parent process (just like real zombies!), but the question was how to find it.

Find the zombie (The question answered this part):

a@SERVER:~$ ps aux | grep 'Z'


What you get is Zombies and anything else with a Z in it, so you will also get the grep:

USER       PID     %CPU %MEM  VSZ    RSS TTY      STAT START   TIME COMMAND

usera      13572   0.0  0.0   7628   992 pts/2    S+   19:40   0:00 grep –color=auto Z

usera      93572   0.0  0.0   0      0   ??       Z    19:40   0:00 something


Find the zombie's parent:

a@SERVER:~$ pstree -p -s 93572


Will give you:

init(1)—cnid_metad(1311)—cnid_dbd(5145)


In this case you do not want to kill that parent process and you should be quite happy with one zombie, but killing the immediate parent process 5145 should get rid of it.

Additional resources on askubuntu:

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