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I have an Ubuntu Apache server with some very weird problems, and as an intermediate solution, I need to write a script that kills off worker processes.

The problem is that a worker process (mpm_worker) occasionally gets stuck and won't even respond to kill anymore. I have to use kill -9. So, the question is, is there some test signal I can send to test if a process responds? kill -0 won't work; the PID exists, so it will exit with status 0.

I know after using kill that it won't respond, but I can't very well use that as test :)

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You can issue a kill -15 and check if the process is still alive after n seconds. If it's still alive kill -9. –  Bart May 14 '13 at 8:54
    
That won't work, because I don't want to kill the process if it's still functioning... –  Halfgaar May 14 '13 at 12:19
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