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May 18, 2011

How to Find and Stop a Stuck Process in Solaris

Sometimes an application in Solaris gets stuck when it does not exit properly. For example, you exit a GUI application in Solaris. When you try to start the application, nothing happens. The application was just working. What the heck?

Typically this is a symptom of an application that did not exit properly and is still running. So how do I find the application and stop it? Here's how.

(1) To look at all the running processes on Solaris use this command:
ps -ef

This gives you a big list of all running applications. However, we can make things a lot easier. Let us say firefox did not exit cleanly.

So to search just for firefox processes, use grep. For example:
ps -ef | grep firefox

This will show all the running firefox processes. Note the process number for each process. For example, process 5555 is stuck.

To stop it, use the kill command:
kill -9 5555

Repeat the kill command as necessary if there are other stuck processes.

To make sure the stuck process has been removed use ps with grep again.
ps -ef | grep firefox

There should only be a listing for your grep command line.

That's it.
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