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Re: Zombie subprocesses

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: Zombie subprocesses
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2012 01:45:46 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/17.0 Thunderbird/17.0

On 11/24/2012 12:46 AM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:
> Is leaving zombie processes here and there really worse than the
> conflict with GTK-launched subprocesses?

My impression is yes, as the zombies can exhaust process slots,
which means the user won't be able to run subprocesses.
This could happen pretty quickly on a system where the number
of processes that a single user can run is limited to a small
number, for quota or other reasons (ulimit -u).  On the system
I happened to be running on when I was typing this message,
the limit was 100 processes per user.  This is pretty low,
but it's not ridiculously low.

In contrast, the conflict with GTK-launched subprocesses means
that GTK won't report proper exit statuses and will chatter
misleading messages to the user.  This is a real bug, sometimes
fairly serious, but still, it's typically less serious than not being
able to run subprocesses at all.

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