24.18. Cleaning Up an Unkillable Process
You or another user might have a
process that (according to ps (Section 24.5)) has been sleeping for several days, waiting
for input. If you can't kill (Section 23.12) the
process, even with kill -9, there may be a bug
or some other problem.
These processes can be unkillable because they've
made a request for a hardware device or network resource. Unix has
put them to sleep at a very high priority and the event that they are
waiting on hasn't happened (because of a network
problem, for example). This causes all other
signals to be held until the hardware event occurs. The signal sent
by kill doesn't do any good.
If the problem is with a
terminal and you can get to the back
of the terminal or the back of the computer, try unplugging the line
from the port. Also, try typing CTRL-q on the keyboard -- if the
user typed CTRL-s while getting a lot of output,
this may free the process.
Ask your vendor if
there's a special command to reset the device
driver. If there isn't, you may have to reboot the
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