What is the best way to kill Zombie processes and D state process by single command.


Double tap.

Actually, reboot. There's no real way to easily get rid of a zombie, but there's really no reason to because a zombie isn't taking up resources on the computer; it's an orphaned entry in a process table. Init is supposed to collect it but something went wrong with the process. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie_process

Perhaps you're asking because there's worse problem...are you getting a boatload of zombies roaming your process table? That usually means a bug in the program or a problem with a configuration. You shouldn't have a huge number of zombies on the system. One or two I don't worry. If you have fifty of them from Apache or some other daemon, you probably have a problem. But that's not directly related to your question...

  • 1
    there are around 10 zombie process
    – vnix27
    Mar 23 '11 at 10:21
  • What are the processes? Mar 23 '11 at 12:45

You can't kill a zombie - its already dead

If the ppid still exists, then terminating that can often clean up the spawned zombies.

You shouldn't be killing processes in uninterruptible sleep - usually this means they're i/o bound, but IIRC it can also occur during a blocking read from e.g. a network socket.


Errors in underlying filesystem or disks might cause I/O bound processes. In this case try to "umount -f" the filesystem they depend upon - this will abort whatever outstanding I/O requests there are open.

  • 2
    And lose data. Doesn't sound like a great idea. Apr 6 '14 at 13:59
  • 7
    You lose data anyway by reboot. This way you might avoid reboot - useful feature on production or development systems. Apr 7 '14 at 15:07
  • 2
    Thanks, this worked for an issue we had with a script stuck attempting to access a disappeared NFS mount for weeks :)
    – BT643
    Nov 19 '14 at 16:33
  • 1
    This is exactly what is happening to me sometimes when I do the ls command on a s3fs mount. The ls process won't kill even with kill -9 until I force the unmount with umount -l. Alternatives to umount? Oct 2 '15 at 15:11
  • 2
    Now my umount process is hung as a zombie STAT "D+"! Aug 1 '17 at 18:32

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