I started a remote reboot of my machine but a couple of stuck processes are hanging the reboot.

  • login with SSH is still possible
  • sudo reboot or sudo shutdown -r hang
  • two processes are trying to exit

    root              43     1    43      0    0 ?Es    ??    0:00.00 (mds)
    corti            407   376   407      0    1 ?E     ??    0:00.00 (talagent)
  • I did not manage to kill them (i.e., sudo kill -9 43 or sudo kill -9 407 have not effect)

  • A remote desktop session is no more possible (last screen that I got was a gray screen with the wheel while shutting down)
  • Trying to reboot without flushing the caches does also hang (any combination of -n and -q)

Any other things I could try other than going home and physically reboot the machine?


If you can't kill something with -9, and sudo reboot doesn't work, you're pretty much out of options. The process is deadlocked in a manner that has prevented the OS from shutting down.

Have you closed all other Windowed applications? talagent is apparently the process that manages Resume, your guess is as good as mine in determining why it's deadlocked; Errors communicating with a process it was trying to save before closing, disk errors, etc. Since it's attempting to exit, it's unlikely that anything else (forcing system sleep, closing the process it was waiting on) will cause this process to work out it's lock.

The power button is necessary at this point.

  • I tried again with sudo reboot -nq and after 15 minutes the machine rebooted. I don't know it one of processes finally died or something else did the trick. – Matteo Aug 9 '13 at 11:21
  • mds released the / filesystem, and one of your shutdown was let terminate. – dan Aug 9 '13 at 11:28

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