Recovering from dead init

Martijn van Oosterhout kleptog at
Sat Jul 13 22:06:13 EST 2002

On Sat, Jul 13, 2002 at 07:04:50PM +1000, David Gibson wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 13, 2002 at 03:32:39PM +1000, Martijn van Oosterhout wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Due to an unfortunate accident, init got killed. It seems that now I'm
> > getting lots of zombies piling up (around 300 now). I was wondering if
> > anyone knew a way (other than reboot) to recover from this.
> I think you'll find that init isn't actually dead, although it might
> be in a deeply confused state.  If init had actually died you should
> have got a kernel panic.

Good, point. It is still there.

root         1  0.0  0.1   768   256  ?  S   Jan 31   0:17         

> If you could convince what's left of init to (re-) exec() the init
> binary that would probably recover things.  It might be possible to do
> that with ptrace(), but probably quite hairy.

Heh. Except that init is the only process you are not allowed to ptrace.
Hmm, the man page only says that ptrace is not permitted by init, but trying
to ptrace init just says "Operation not permitted".

Not looking good...
Martijn van Oosterhout   <kleptog at>
> There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that can do binary
> arithmetic and those that can't.

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