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I got an VPS at, very cheap one, but this doesn't matter.

The strange behavior of it is, the php-cgi process, which started using lighthttpd's spawn-cgi, dies every a few minutes. however, other processes are fine and great, even include a java process, and I'm sure there is no "out of memory" issue, so it's not killed by OOM killer.

I used strace to trace the process, and found out it was killed by SIGKILL, hence no single log was left on the disk, just dies suddenly.

Is there anyway I can find out what process/thing sent the SIGKILL to the poor php process?

Filed a ticket with the vendor, but they said they won't care.

strace -p 7176
Process 7176 attached - interrupt to quit
wait4(-1, <unfinished ...>
+++ killed by SIGKILL +++
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What kind of virtualization is used for your VM? – Mircea Vutcovici Dec 23 '11 at 7:38
@mircea-vutcovici openvz it is – Shawn Dec 23 '11 at 18:55
I've the same problem. It seems is killing cron daemon regularly. – chris Sep 23 '12 at 18:10
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Finally I recompiled the php using php-fpm, that seems to be much better and steady. anyway, openvz is not as good. but you pay that little, what to expect?

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Don't settle for OpenVZ crap; even at the low end you can find decent Xen and KVM hosts. – Michael Hampton Oct 5 '12 at 4:27
Make sure to accept this as your answer, so it's clear what solved your issue. (When you can in a couple days). – HopelessN00b Oct 5 '12 at 9:53

A singnal can be send only be a process run as the same user as the destination or as root. You can use systemtap to find the culprit. See: SystemTap SigMon

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thanks..this is a cool however it seems I need some new kernel to get it to work. yum install systemstap will give me a new kernel and I doubt it will not work on the VPS -- using openvz. probably I should find something using Xen – Shawn Dec 23 '11 at 18:57
(systemtap does not require a new kernel; people have used it fine under a xen domu.) – fche Dec 13 '13 at 16:37

After asking the support, they changed something on the server. Cron is running continuously now.

It seems like crond was killed by the host system.

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