Periodic processes

Dan Nelson dnelson at
Mon Aug 21 14:40:38 UTC 2006

In the last episode (Aug 21), Robert Fitzpatrick said:
> I have a FreeBSD 6.0 server that the periodic processes don't seem to
> complete and build up until our monitor complains about the number of
> processes and I killall. How would I go about figuring out which process
> is the problem or if there is a cron issue? Can't find any errors in the
> messages or cron log. After a few days, this is what I see and have to
> kill:
> 26347  ??  Is     0:00.01 /bin/sh -c periodic daily
> 26349  ??  I      0:00.01 /bin/sh - /usr/sbin/periodic daily
> 26355  ??  I      0:00.02 /bin/sh - /usr/sbin/periodic daily
> 26356  ??  I      0:00.00 /bin/sh - /usr/sbin/periodic daily
> 26401  ??  I      0:00.01 /bin/sh /etc/periodic/daily/400.status-disks
> 28129  ??  I      0:00.01 /bin/sh - /etc/periodic/weekly/310.locate
> 28136  ??  IN     0:00.01 /bin/sh /usr/libexec/locate.updatedb
> 28140  ??  IN     0:00.01 /bin/sh /usr/libexec/locate.mklocatedb -presort

Run "ps axl" and trace what processes are being launched by those
periodic scripts (using the PID and PPID columns) until you find one
not in an "I" or "S" state.  You can also install pstree from ports to
make the job a little easier.

Judging by the hanging periodic script names, it looks like you may
have a filesystem that's hung, possibly an NFS mount where the other
system is down.

	Dan Nelson
	dnelson at

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list