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Defunct processes using all the CPU

Mott Given
Frequent Advisor

Defunct processes using all the CPU

A lot of defunct processes (shown below) associated with an Oracle database application were using all the CPU on a T-600 with 8 CPU's. I thought a defunct process was a zombie process that used no CPU time. The software that I am using, BMC's Patrol for UNIX Perform Predict was reporting that the defunct processes were using all the CPU time - is this a measurement error from the Patrol data? Also why would so many processes crash like this at the same time?
"/usr/bin/sh \./process_award_idx\.sh"
"cat testdata\.lst"
"cut -f6 -d\*"
"cut -f8 -d|"
"cut -f9 -d|"
"diff /dla_pr/rep_ecf3/020705/abstract/Abstract_d_YPE02158000"
"grep -n \^N1\\\* 850stsegs0001"
"grep -v FREIGHT"
"grep \\\*BD\\\*"
"grep \\\*ST\\\*"
"grep \\\*XE\\\*"
"grep \^N1\\\* 850stsegs0001"
"grep \^NTE\\\* 850stsegs0001"
"grep \^PER\\\* 850stsegs0001"
"grep \^REF\\\* 850stsegs0001"
"process_sol_seed process_sol_seed"
"sed -n 12p 850stsegs0001"
"sed -n 16p 850stsegs0004"
"sed -n 18p 850stsegs0001"

Mott Given
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: Defunct processes using all the CPU

Hi Mott,

I've seen similar situations where defunct processes were consuming massive amounts of cpu time. At this point, you need to get rid of them. If they have a parent PID of 1, the only way to clear them out is to reboot. If the PPID is other than 1, you can try killing the parent.


Honored Contributor

Re: Defunct processes using all the CPU

Can you kill those process??

ps -ef | grep defunct would give you list of defunct process and most of them should be having a ? and 1 under ppid showing as a runaway process.

Kill the process and see it makes any difference.
The following command would show you top 10 cpu intensive process
UNIX95= ps -e -o "vsz pcpu ruser pid stime time state args" | sort -rn |head -10

Good Luck..