Fork fails

Damien Elmes clug at
Thu Sep 19 22:15:19 EST 2002

Michael Still <mikal at> writes:

> On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Martijn van Oosterhout wrote:
>> You _are_ wait()ing on all the processes right? Remember, a process is not
>> gone until it exits *and* the parent wait()s for it. There is some hack
>> about ignoring SIGCHLD that may work but just doing a wait() when you know
>> the process is done should be enough.
> Hmmmmm. Ok, so the process still occupies a "process slot" (I don't know
> if this is a real term) until someone asks for the result of the process,
> by using wait(). Therefore, even if it is no longer running, I can have
> ulimit pain.

Exactly. But if you're on linux, zombie processes will show in a ps listing,
so you'd know it if they were hanging around.

Damien Elmes

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