Freeradius is not restarting properly (fails to quit and becomes a zombie process)

Jason Wittlin-Cohen jasonwc at
Sat Oct 7 00:57:25 CEST 2006

Alan DeKok wrote:
> Jason Wittlin-Cohen <jasonwc at> wrote:
>> Over the last few days I've been having a recurring problem. Whenever I
>> start Freeradius either with radiusd in a terminal or as a service in
>> Debian, I can not restart/kill radiusd properly if it's authenticated
>> any clients. Restarting the service says it's successful but the radius
>> log states that port 1812 is already in use. "top" shows 100% cpu usage
>   It looks like
>   The solution is to not re-initialize the modules on HUP.
>   It works in *most* cases, because the code handling the HUP tries to
> wait until all of the modules have stopped.  But if your back-end DB's
> are slow, it doesn't have much choice but to proceed with handling the
> HUP.
>   Most people don't see it because the modules respond quickly.  I'd
> say the first step to a work-around is to make sure none of the
> modules you're using are blocking the server.
>   Alan DeKok.
> --
>       - The web site of the book
> - The blog
> - 
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I have discovered the root of the problem. When I enable the
"check_cert_cn = %{User-Name}" option in eap.conf and successfully
authenticate 1 user , a restart or stop of the radiusd service leads to
a zombie process which needs to be killed with "kill -9". If this option
is disabled, as is the default setting, radiusd can be restarted
normally without issue. This issue does not occur if either a) no users
have attempted to authenticate, or b) users have authenticated but were
rejected. Is this a known issue?

Jason Wittlin-Cohen

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