[vbox-dev] SVN builds Leaving zombie processes on shutdown of guest

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Tue Jun 4 13:44:34 GMT 2013

Hi Perry,

On 04.06.2013 14:23, Perry Halbert wrote:
> Good day Klaus,
> Strange indeed.  As I said I didn't notice this before but can't promise
> exactly when It started.  I don't usually need to trace why excessive
> idle CPU ticks are present.  I did check the released (4.2.12) and it
> does not produce this behavior.
> I do have backups of my builds and can if needed to see where it
> started. (at least to the middle of March)
> Question if I may,  what is the purpose of the %U in the startup command
> (VirtualBox %U)


I wonder if %U is really what we want, or if we should have %F there :)


> Perry
> On 06/04/2013 04:06 AM, Klaus Espenlaub wrote:
>> Hi Perry,
>> On 03.06.2013 23:10, Perry Halbert wrote:
>>> More research on this shows that using VBoxHeadless -s <guest> or shift
>>> start from the main manager does not produce the zombies.
>>> Only normal starting from the main manager or shortcut does.
>> Very very strange, I'm not aware of any intentional code changes in this
>> area for approx. a year, and actually I have no idea why VBoxHeadless
>> processes would consistently behave differently. The distinction should
>> be "VM started through the API" (i.e. anything in the GUI, and
>> VBoxManage startvm) or "VM started directly" (i.e.
>> VirtualBox/VBoxHeadless/VBoxSDL --startvm foo). In the latter case
>> VBoxSVC is not the parent and thus isn't responsible for waiting for the
>> process exit result.
>> I can reproduce, so will investigate what's causing this behavior change.
>> Thanks for letting us know...
>> Klaus
>>> On 06/01/2013 11:56 AM, Perry Halbert wrote:
>>>> Strange behavior the last few weeks.
>>>> Stopping ( even saved state ) a guest leaves a zombie process on the
>>>> host.
>>>> Each new start and it uses a new pid and the zombie is still there.
>>>> Stop all guests and the main manager and all processes including the
>>>> zombie processes finally clear.
>>>> Host = Ubuntu 12.04 LTS guest = any.
>>>> perry     9538  6.0  0.0      0     0 ?        Z    11:36   0:34
>>>> [VirtualBox] <defunct>
>>>> perry     9934  4.3  0.0      0     0 ?        Z    11:37   0:22
>>>> [VirtualBox] <defunct>
>>>> Normally I would not have seen this but the processor was doing work
>>>> when it should have been idle. I have never seen a zombie process
>>>> using CPU ticks before.  Wait long enough and the %CPU will finally
>>>> get to zero but it seems to take like 20 to 30 minutes to do so.

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