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5. Controlling Processes > Runaway processes

5.11 Runaway Processes

Runaway processes come in two flavors: user processes that consume excessive amounts of a system resource, such as CPU time or disk space, and system processes that suddenly go berserk and exhibit wild behavior. The first type of runaway is not necessarily malfunctioning; it might simply be a resource hog. System processes are always supposed to behave reasonably.

See page 1131 for more information about runaway processes.

You can identify processes that use excessive CPU time by looking at the output of ps or top. If it’s obvious that a user process is consuming more CPU than is reasonable, investigate the process. It can also be useful to look at the number of processes waiting to run. Use the uptime command to show the load averages (average numbers of runnable processes) over 1, 5, and 15-minute intervals.


  

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