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I am using strace to see what certain processes are doing. I have an Apache process that seems to be running forever, taking up 97.8% of a core and almost 2GB of RAM.

Now when I run strace on this process there is no output at all. Does this mean that the process is dead and sitting in there taking up resources? Can I kill the process without worrying about doing something bad?

I am running strace in the following way:

strace -p6873


Josh Pennington

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The process seems to be stuck in a single long-running syscall. Since strace doesn't show the syscall that was running, when it attached the process, you get no output. You could maybe get more info using a debugger like gdb and running a stack trace (gdb command: bt).

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It also might be doing internal processing; strace only sees syscalls, but not all calls are syscalls... a tight infinite loop (bug) would also just hang as above. – pjz Oct 14 '10 at 3:56
You're probably right, hence the high cpu usage. – al. Oct 14 '10 at 11:16

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