[Gllug] GConfd

Nix nix at esperi.org.uk
Sat Sep 24 18:36:25 UTC 2011

On 21 Sep 2011, Sanatan Rai spake thusly:

> On 20 September 2011 23:42, Nix <nix at esperi.org.uk> wrote:
>> On 20 Sep 2011, Sanatan Rai uttered the following:
> <snipped>
>> I suspect something else needed it and you didn't notice. Even Emacs
>> sometimes starts one. I'm running one now and I'm a KDE user... it
>> doesn't use much memory and can usually be ignored.
>     Hmm...not sure if I want to leave it running. I also see other processes
> such as gvfsd-metadata  and gam_server, but presumably they get
> started when I run something using GTK+/GNOME.

Yep, for similar reasons.

>    To be honest, I do wish these things would just die gracefully if nothing is
> using them.

It's a bit ugly, yes (or perhaps they shoul die if nobody calls on them
for N seconds).

>>>> This 'adoption' behaviour is a universally-applicable Unix thing (wired
>>>> into the kernel): init(8) adopts all processes whose parents die.
> I just tried this: I ran geeqie from the command line, and sure enough gconfd-2
> turns up. But again PPID for gconfd is init's, should it not be geeqie's?

I'd expect daemons to fork(), then fork() again and have the child
setsid() while the parent dies, specifically to dissociate themselves
from the parent's process group and session. As a side effect, this also
arranges for the daemon to have a dead parent, so init(8) adopts it.

(There are other things a daemon should do according to ancient lore,
including chdir("/"); all this is *also* documented by both Stevens and

>    [The reason I went off GNOME/KDE (and switched to Enlightenment)
> was because they were such hogs. Having all these `helpful processes'
> cluttering the process table defeats the purpose. But then it serves me
> right for running geeqie etc.]

Yeah :) the idea of Enlightenment being seen as the trim one still
surprises me a bit, but then it's been focused on embedded stuff for ten
years while GNOME and KDE have been putting on more and more weight.

I am definitely looking at enlightenment. If it has a decent tabbed
terminal emulator with UTF-8 support I might well switch... my real
working environment is Emacs anyway.

NULL && (void)
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