Zombie processes

Shachar Shemesh wine-devel at shemesh.biz
Mon Jun 7 15:03:25 CDT 2004

Hi all,

Mike M told me on IRC that this matter has come up before, but I have 
not been able to find it in the archives. It seems Wine has been 
generating lots of zombie processes when it's not 100% cleanly killed. I 
have also seen the system hold a socket created from a wine process in 
"ESTABLISHED" state, when no process is registered as the socket's owner.

According to Alexandre according to Mike, this is a kernel bug. Well, it 
most certainly is. Theoretically, there is nothing a user space process 
can do to cause zombies to stay around after their parent has exit, or 
keep sockets open after their controlling process has quit. As wine is a 
user space only process, this must be a kernel bug. No way around it.

However, it happened to me both on RedHat 9 with 2.4.something (NPTL 
back ported), with both RH9's original kernel, and their most up to date 
one. It also happened on Debian Sid's almost-vanilla kernel 2.6.6. It 
happened with LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.1 making wine choose the standard 
threading mode, as well as without, choosing nptl. The zombies are 
sometimes called wine-pthread/wine-kthread, and sometimes 
wine-preloader. In short, I think this is a long standing Linux kernel 
bug, and Linus helps those who help themselves. I will also not be 
surprised if it was triggered by a wine bug.

So the question is this. Is there anyone on this list who knows how to 
submit this as a question to lkml? The only time I tried to do anything 
remotely like it, I was seriously ridiculed. I understand from friends 
that live there that this is not an exceptional thing, so I'm a bit 
hesitant to go back there. If no one else does, however, I will. It will 
require me to untaint my kernel, so someone please save me from the slow 
armagatron I get when I'm not running nvidia, and report this :-)

Will someone take this task on himself?


Shachar Shemesh
Lingnu Open Source Consulting

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