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I have a many daemon processes that sometimes get hung up during a db transaction, thus blocking other queries ( and causing general havoc )

In order to debug, I've added some code in the daemon process to dump a stacktrace when a SIGCONT signal is sent to it.

Is it generally safe to trap SIGCONT on a processes that isn't stopped?

I'd like to use a signal that doesn't kill the process if it's not setup to trap it

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Yes. If a process does not handle SIGCONT it will "discard signal"

See man signal for the default actions of all signals.

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