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Re: [edlug] Lots of forked processes, all saying /USR/SBIN/CRON

Andrew Aylett wrote:

As I type, I have 79 process, all showing "/USR/SBIN/CRON" as their command, and as far as I can tell without looking at them all individually, all in state "disk sleep", with a size of 632 and RSS of 568, all owned by root.

One of the entries in root's crontab is locking up for some reason and is unable to complete whatever it is trying to do before the time comes round again for cron to fire it off again. You'll find the system load average has increased to some huge value as each cron job competes with the previous ones for run time.

You should try and find out what it is, and disable it in the crontab before running it by hand and trying to find out why it won't complete. This will prevent it filling up your system and reducing the response time so much that you can't do anything. Check your cron log entries. You may need to increase the level of cron logging (if your version of cron supports this) to get enough information about what it is trying to do. Also check root's mailbox for mail from cron about any errors.

Re-enable the entry once you get it working again properly.

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